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New Zealand Hotel Takes Tech-Savvy Approach With BLE Technology

Mi-pad's hotel in Queenstown automatically provides guests with room assignments and access via an app using technology from ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, and enables visitors to manage room conditions to meet their own comfort needs.
By Claire Swedberg
Dec 24, 2018

A new hotel in Queenstown, New Zealand, leverages technology that includes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) as a way to offer a more tech-based approach for a young, tech-savvy audience. Mi-pad Queenstown is offering its guests automated access to rooms through a mobile app by sending a room assignment via BLE transmissions at the hotel, and is allowing visitors to unlock the appropriate room doors with the tap of a smartphone.

The system, provided by ASSA ABLOY Hospitality, consists of RFID- and BLE-enabled door locks at each room, as well as a downloadable app provided by Seveno that allows users to customize room controls to improve their experience. The solution was taken live with the opening of the hotel in August of this year.

The Mi-pad Queenstown hotel
Mi-pad is a new hotel firm that aims to resolve some of the challenges traditional hotels face, such as queues at check-in counters, misplaced room keys, bad lighting or uncomfortable room temperatures. The company says its solution relies on technology to make the entire hotel visit more convenient and customizable for its guests. The first mi-pad hotel, in Queenstown, opened as a place for the young (and the young-at-heart) who enjoy engaging with the latest technologies, says Stephen Borcoskie, the CEO of mi-pad's parent company, TJK NZ. The six-story, 57-room facility is designed to be energy-efficient and convenient for visitors.

Several years ago, while the hotel was still in the planning stage, the company wanted to allow guests to easily check in, as well as access their rooms and other hotel features, such as after-hours entry and the rooftop terrace, which offers 270-degree views of Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables mountain range and the city's Skyline Gondola. It looked into technology options and selected ASSA ABLOY Hospitality's Mobile Access system. "It was at a level that could interface with other systems," Borcoskie says, "and we could be trained in the use of the technology."

ASSA ABLOY Hospitality began working with the project developer in February 2016, according to Michael Benikos, the managing director of the company's Hospitality Oceania division, to build a customized version of its VingCard Allure devices for the hotel firm. Meetings continued into 2017 with fire, electrical, mechanical and security engineers. In May of last year, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality collaborated with mi-pad on room access and the integration of the electronics in the room.

Around that time, Benikos says, "We got the acceptance of the order, although we were still finalizing the products and configurations required." The mobile app was then tested and certified for use with the VingCard Allure product. Building commenced in May 2017, and the system was installed from January to May 2018, with the hotel opening in August.

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