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Time is limited. Once it’s gone, you can’t gain it back. Similarly, once a room goes unsold for a night, it will go unsold forever. There’s no way to recover that loss, because there’s no way to go back in time.
 
Many hotels fight this limitation by trying to sell as many rooms as possible. If all the rooms are completely booked, time no longer becomes a factor. But most don’t have the luxury of being at-capacity every single night. That’s why last-minute booking apps are growing in popularity in the industry, where hotels can make the most of each day. These apps specifically target guests who don’t plan far in advance, seeking accommodations from one week to one minute later.
 
There are several different ways your hotel can benefit from using last-minute booking apps in your business strategy.

IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.

Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?



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Nomadix vs. Blueprint RF Update: The Nomadix Patent Case Explained

11/11/2015

For more than a year a fight has been brewing between Blueprint RF and Nomadix over Internet gateway patents. As the lawsuit begins to find clarity there are two basic functions that remain in dispute, the captive-portal or login page and PMS-billing connection fees to guestrooms. 

While the case remains pending before a federal judge in California, we found out that Blueprint RF filed for Inter Partes Review (IPR) of the captive-portal patents with the U.S. Patent Office. Blueprint RF submitted over 40 pieces of the evidence to the patent office, which has the power to invalidate the patents in question. The IPR process takes approximately 18 months and historically has found roughly 80 percent of the patents submitted for review to be invalid.

One of the most interesting aspects of the court case surrounds who was first to develop portal page redirection. Blueprint RF contends that Nomadix filed its patent applications nearly a year after the technology was implemented by competitor, the Connect Group, and many months after it was demonstrated at the 1998 HITEC.

Evidence shows that Nomadix filed its first provisional patent application in December 1998 and claims to have had portal page redirection working in March 1999. Blueprint RF asserts that the Connect Group had portal page redirection working in January 1998 and in commercial service by March 1998, followed by ATCOM with its IPORT server in July 1998. 

Nomadix’s case against Blueprint’s claims relies on an expert opinion saying that a comment in the Connect Group source code indicates that the Connect Group’s portal page redirection was not actually working until May 1999, two months after Nomadix had its “captive portal” working.  With respect to IPORT, Nomadix contends that the evidence should be ignored because the documentation is unclear.

Blueprint RF has submitted testimony from Michael Slemmer, the primary author of the Connect Group software, who explained that the May 1999 date refers to the date he left the company and saved the code into a special storage facility, not when he wrote the portal page redirection code. Slemmer testified that portal page redirection was working in January 1998 and in commercial service in March 1998 at the San Jose Hilton followed by other hotels.

Slemmer’s testimony is upheld by three witnesses including John Gengarella, the hotel’s general manager and Connect Group investor, who originally had the idea of redirecting hotel guests to a payment page as a financially viable way to bring high-speed Internet into the hotel.  Charles Katz, the Connect Group’s chief financial officer, testified that he was present at the successful demonstration of the technology at the June 1998 HITEC.  Stanford University programmer Andrew Roper also testified that portal page redirection was working when he interned with the Connect Group during the summer of 1998.

Slemmer, Gengarella and Katz all emphasized that the successful demonstration of portal page redirection in June 1998 led to the multi-million purchase of the Connect Group by LodgeNet, which was announced at the 1998 HITEC. That testimony is supported by press coverage in June 1998, an invention disclosure written by Slemmer in September 1998, a patent application filed in November 1998, and a sale covering 11,800 rooms in 120 Wingate Inns locations signed in January 1999—all before Nomadix claims to have first come up with the idea.

On the ATCOM side, Blueprint RF presented Keith Olson, the primary author of the IPORT software.  He testified that ATCOM was so impressed with the Connect Group gateway at the June 1998 HITEC conference that they immediately set out to come up with their own version. The IPORT “server only” version 2.0 was released a month later in July 1998 followed by IPORT Central Office in October 1998.  Olson’s testimony is backed up by another IPORT programmer who said that IPORT portal page redirection was already developed and on sale when he started working for ATCOM in November 1998.  That testimony is supported by a wealth of press coverage, two “White Papers” published on the IPORT website in November 1998, and the IPORT User’s Manual dated April 1999.

Blueprint RF contends that they have found the “smoking gun” to free the industry of these patents and open the way for new development and innovation.  It’s up to the federal court and the patent office to make the final decision. 

Lodgenet Acquires Connect Group

Internet Access for the Road Warrior Easier Than Ever, IPORT™ Version 2.0 Released

About The Author
Trevor Warner

Warner Consulting Group


Trevor Warner is an industry expert and consulting for the hospitality technology field.

 
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