Month: December 2014

SQ LINK: INTERACTIVE DIGITAL SIGNAGE – What it is, How it works and the benefits of adding link to your amenities

DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL WHITE PAPER HERE > SQ LINK

What is SQ Link?

SurferQuest has recently developed and released an interactive digital signage app. SQ Link provides guests with a direct portal to local entertainment, dining, events, weather, news, transportation and flight status. With the touch of a button guests can bring up restaurants and make reservations, request a cab or purchase a bus ticket, or access local venues and buy tickets for events. Additionally, SQ Link provides guests with an interactive map of the grounds and local area, complete with line and text directions generated with each selected destination. SQ Link can offer boarding pass printing and internet access as well.
Take your concierge services a step further.

The services and amenities offered at a hotel are what make a guest’s stay memorable, and what sets a hotel apart from the rest. Stay current with the demands for technology and convenience, and provide your guests with a digital and interactive concierge. The integrated wayfinding feature SQ Link offers is a step ahead of the traditional paper maps made available by the hotel concierge. Guests can select their destination, view local points of interest and retrieve turn by turn directions to the desired location.

SQ Link Homepage

Give your guests the ability to make reservations, purchase tickets, and find their way, all at the touch of a finger.

FTTV Disney Interface

SQ Link Home Page

The SQ Link home page features buttons for dining, transit, events, information, maps, boarding pass printing and internet browsing. To the left of the home screen is where guests can view their flight status, for the on time, delayed or cancelled status of their flights.

SQ Link Maps

The SQ Link Maps provide guests with interactive directions of the grounds and local area. The user can select a point as the destination and receive line and turn by turn text directions.

Link - MAP

Providing SQ Link in your Hotel

Whether you are a current SurferQuest customer and looking to add to your portfolio of business center services, or considering using SQ Link alone, we would be pleased to assist you in serving your guests. SQ Link is available in a variety of different packages to suit any hotel and budget. SurferQuest also offers demos and trial periods for testing.

If you are interested in expanding all of your business center services, SurferQuest can provide a full consultation and needs assessment. SQ is proud to offer a full line of business center products that will maximize your BC amenities.

“SQ Link is a huge success in my hotel. My guests love the convenience, and the mapping is a really impressive extended feature.”

General Manager, Wyndham Hotel, Chicago

Flight Time TV: Product Guide – offering flight status in your hotel

DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL PRODUCT GUIDE HERE > FTTV PAPER

Display the real time departure and arrival status of any airport(s)
Live flight and airport status including delays and cancellations, made available to your guests
Dedicated Lobby Display
Broadcast departures and arrivals in real time, directly to lobby screens. Depending on screen size, Flight Time TV can show the flight information of up to 3 airports on a single screen. For smaller screen sizes, multiple airports will circulate with various screen slides. Requires Hardware.

Guest Room TV Network

Broadcast flight information to a spare channel on guest TV networks.  Using a modulator, a spare channel is selected and the flight status is broadcast directly to the guest room TV. Requires Hardware.

HTML / RSS / XML
Highly customizable, easily integrated code to implement into existing signage applications and digital signage screens. Our own extended version includes news, weather and local events.

Flight Status Search is a widget for use on business center computers that enables guests to search their airline specifically for individualized flight information. Boarding pass printing is also available as a dedicated service or in addition to your guest computers for easy boarding pass access.

Flight Time TV Hardware Requirements and Set Up
Dedicated Lobby Display
To broadcast Flight Time TV directly to a lobby screen, a computer is needed to receive the real time updates via the internet. A small form factor machine can be used, and depending on the size of the lobby display, some models even fit up behind the screen.
Hardware Requirements
a. Computer running either Windows 7, XP, Home or Vista
b. 1 GB RAM
c. 1 Graphics Card
d. 1 HDMI or VGA (Video Cable)
e. 1 Ethernet Cable (Unless using Wifi)

Guest TV Network / Guest Room TVs
Flight Time TV can be set to broadcast directly to guest room TVs by selecting a spare channel on the guest TV network. For multiple airports, a single channel can be used if screen size is large enough. Otherwise multiple channels can be used for different airports.
Hardware Requirements
a. Computer running either Windows 7, XP, Home or Vista
b. 1 GB RAM
c. 1 Graphics Card
d. 1 RF Modulator
e. S Video input modulator
f. S Video Cable
g. Coaxial Cable
h. Ethernet Cable (Unless using Wifi)

HTML / RSS / XML
With this type of feed, you can build Flight Time TV into any existing app or integrate into any digital signage / reader board. No hardware needed for this method. See below for an example of integration into board with multiple applications.
Hardware Packages are available through Flight Time TV, but it is not required that HW is obtained through FTTV. Units to support the feed may be purchased elsewhere as long as the hardware meets the minimum requirements.
Grand Hyatt Atlanta:
“We partnered with Flight Time TV for a real time solution that provided our guests current flight departure times and cancellations. Their products are in an easy to read and use format and allowed our guests to stay updated and plan accordingly, while providing a much needed services. Amanda has always been an outstanding representative, reliable, diligent in her follow-up, personable and solution driven.”
-David Gross, Associate Hotel Director
Loews Miami Beach:
“I worked with Amanda to provide Flight Time TV in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Process was fluid and working with Amanda and the company has been great.”
-Justin Creech, Assistant Hotel Manager
See Flight Time TV in the following hotels……

Clarion LaGuardia
Sheraton Reston
Hotel Pennsylvania
Marriott JFK
Manhattan Times Square
Marriott OHare
Miami International
Radisson Lexington
Westin Las Vegas
Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
Embassy Suites Denver
Gaylord Palms
Hilton Anatole
JW Marriott Indianapolis
Omni Dallas
Marriott Washington DC
Hotel Indigo
And many more!

Key logging in Hotels: How SurferQuest protects against theft of guest information

Recently, I had highlighted why using software such as SurferQuest is so important for public offered computers such as those in hotels. The article below confirms the threat that key loggers pose. SurferQuest prevents and protects machines from key logging programs.

“In a non-public advisory distributed to companies in the hospitality industry on July 10, the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) warned that a task force in Texas recently arrested suspects who have compromised computers within several major hotel business centers in the Dallas/Fort Worth areas.

“In some cases, the suspects used stolen credit cards to register as guests of the hotels; the actors would then access publicly available computers in the hotel business center, log into their Gmail accounts and execute malicious key logging software,” the advisory reads.

“The keylogger malware captured the keys struck by other hotel guests that used the business center computers, subsequently sending the information via email to the malicious actors’ email accounts,” the warning continues. “The suspects were able to obtain large amounts of information including other guests personally identifiable information (PII), log in credentials to bank, retirement and personal webmail accounts, as well as other sensitive data flowing through the business center’s computers.”

The advisory lists several basic recommendations for hotels to help secure public computers, such as limiting guest accounts to non-administrator accounts that do not have the ability to install or uninstall programs. This is a good all-purpose recommendation, but it won’t foil today’s keyloggers and malware — much of which will happily install on a regular user account just as easily as on an administrative one.

While there are a range of solutions designed to wipe a computer clean of any system changes after the completion of each user’s session (Steady State, Clean Slate, et. al), most such security approaches can be defeated if users also are allowed to insert CDs or USB-based Flash drives (and few hotel business centers would be in much demand without these features on their PCs).

Attackers with physical access to a system and the ability to reboot the computer can use CDs or USB drives to boot the machine straight into a stand-alone operating system like Linux that has the ability to add, delete or modify files on the underlying (Windows) hard drive. While some computers may have low-level “BIOS” settings that allow administrators to prevent users from booting another operating system from a USB drive or CD, not all computer support this option.

The truth is, if a skilled attacker has physical access to a system, it’s more or less game over for the security of that computer. But don’t take my word for it. This maxim is among the “10 Immutable Laws of Security” as laid out by none other than Microsoft‘s own TechNet blog, which lists law #3 as: “If a bad guy has unrestricted physical access to your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.”

The next hotel business center you visit may be completely locked down and secure, or it could be wide open and totally overrun with malware. The trouble is that there is no easy way for the average guest to know for sure. That’s why I routinely advise people not to use public computers for anything more than browsing the Web. If you’re on the road and need to print something from your email account, create a free, throwaway email address at yopmail.com or 10minutemail.com and use your mobile device to forward the email or file to that throwaway address, and then access the throwaway address from the public computer.”

Interactive Wayfinding in Hotels: Position tracking, traffic recording and emergency alerts

As interactive wayfinding advances, the ability to expand further into various industries and markets advances also. While wayfinding generally targeted the most obvious venues; hospitals and universities, Wayfinding Pro has made it possible for any organization or individual to afford interactive wayfinding. With interface templates, and a back end enabling users to easily build and map projects, it is now possible for interactive wayfinding to be offered anywhere and everywhere.

There is one industry in particular where wayfinding has not yet appeared, but would prove highly beneficial. Hotels base every amenity and service on ease of use, demand and guest satisfaction. Wayfinding hits each of these elements, and provides a service that will set the installed hotels apart from their competition.

Using wayfinding, these features and amenities can provide a very convenient tool for hotel guests:

1. Wayfinding can not only provide interactive directions within the hotel, but also outside and the surrounding area.

2. Taking mapping a step further, in the event of an emergency such as a fire, the system can alert every phone on campus, track where each phone is, and send emergency routes to safety to each phone.

3. Using the tracking feature, the wayfinding system can tell the hotel where the most trafficked areas are, and where guests are spending the most time.

4. Wayfinding Systems can also integrate additional apps to show local dining, entertainment, transit, news, weather, and more.

Looking at just these four features, it is easy to see how beneficial wayfinding can be in a hotel setting. In the past, wayfinding had not yet integrated the hospitality market with the main reason being the cost for such projects was very high. My partners over at http://www.wayfindingpro.comprovide an app that enables subscribers to build their own wayfinding projects for $49 per month. The app is similar to sites that enable users to build their own website. Wayfinding Pro comes with interface templates and plug ins as well.

Testing Wayfinding Pro is easy, and free. To find out if Wayfinding Pro is a fit for you, call Amanda at 814-342-3120.