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RFID Tracks Luxury Bed Use at Hotels

Elite Beds is using AgoraBee RFID-based technology to capture and access sensor data regarding how often leased beds are used, as well as how much pressure hotel guests put on the mattresses, thereby helping its staff to manage maintenance, turning and cleaning services.
By Claire Swedberg

Elite Beds views the data and sends an invoice at the end of the month to the hotel, based each bed's usage rates. In the future, the company plans to share that information with its customers, so that if hotels want to see how much each room has been occupied, they can view that data in the software.

The sensors themselves had to be built and installed in such a way that the metal springs in the mattresses would not interfere with RF transmissions, Harik says. "That required a lot of specialized design work on the part of our engineers," he states. It was also important to ensure that the sensors could not be felt by those lying on the beds.

To prevent misreads, the software was designed with algorithms to track how a mattress endured pressure, and to identify when a guest was using it. For instance, if a cleaning worker were to sit on a mattress for a few minutes, the system would not bill a guest for that usage.

Thus far, the solution has been installed at about 50 hotels in Switzerland and neighboring countries. That amounts to around 3,000 beds, Pugliese says. "Thanks to this technology," he explains, "we have been able to double our sales in the hospitality sector" For instance, because hotels do not need to buy the beds outright, they are more likely to lease more beds, and to select those of the highest quality.

"It's magic," Pugliese says. "The customer chooses our best product," then adds related items, such as bases and box springs. "And it's an important benefit for our customers, since they will have high-end beds. The hotel customers are happier [due to the comfortable beds], and the hotels receive man compliments."

Elite is now expanding its offering to countries throughout Europe. In addition, it plans to offer the solution to partner companies in areas where Elite does not presently sell beds. This year, the firm has partnered with an unnamed mattress maker in Mexico that will use the Smart Lease system for the hotels to which it provides its beds.

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