Title image for article Fact check.
Text: Björn Zimmer

Fact check.

Beacons. The truths and untruths about a new technology.

"Beacons – top or flop for the hotel industry?" This question was the title of a blog on the website of the German Hotel Association (IHA) shortly before Christmas. The bone of contention is an innovative technology which has particularly become the focus of attention in the sector because of the HRS investment in start-up Conichi. Criticism is good – but the facts have to be right. This is a check.

Statement: "The user has to have downloaded and activated a special app. This is also a problem, because consumers have gradually reached the point where they are 'all apped out'; they have become tired of apps, and this should by no means be ignored!"
Response: Granted, there are studies according to which smartphone users ultimately use only a few apps on their phones on a regular basis. Overall, however, app usage is on the rise. Users spend an average of three hours a day on apps. The primary motivation for downloading an app is its ability to solve a particular task or problem (Source: eMarketer). Apps simplify our daily lives and are an integral part of life ñ they have long since arrived in the travel segment too, and apps must therefore be available across the entire travel chain. Conichi found a partner in HRS whose app is installed on more than 23 million devices ñ the Conichi solution is integrated into the existing HRS app and thus reaches a large number of users. The app does not even have to be open in order for it to work.

Statement: "The direct booker would then be at a disadvantage compared to the guest who is subject to commission, that is to say, the 'more valuable' guest would receive a less personal service than the one that was purchased dearly through the OTA."
Response: No. The Conichi solution works the same way for every guest ñ irrespective of the channel through which he booked. Apart from the HRS app, the solution is also used in Conichi's own app. The app is available free to users and is not tied to a booking or a MyHRS account.

Statement: "The data collected do not remain at the hotel, but go to the app provider."
Response: Wrong. Using Conichi, the guest provides the hotel with the specific data that are required for the guest registration form. All data collected in connection with the hotel stay remain at the hotel. Conichi is currently developing interfaces to popular PMS systems for this. However, at the moment, these data can already be managed simply and intelligent using the clearly laid out Conichi Management Dashboard.

Incidentally: The assertion that Bluetooth is an energy guzzler is nothing more than a myth. Since the iPhone 4S, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has been available, which uses virtually no energy. Thus Bluetooth Low Energy is also the standard for apps for door openers, for example. The latest technologies ensure that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth really only use electricity when these features are actively used. If no data streams are discernible in the meantime, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use hardly any additional electricity. A number of apps use Bluetooth. Travellers are aware of this if they want to take advantage of the benefits. According to a study carried out by Strˆer and German rail company Deutsche Bahn, 40 percent of travellers have already activated Bluetooth.

Are you interested in further facts about all aspects of Conichi? You will find more information at www.conichi.com.