A look at HITEC 2021 exhibitors

DALLAS—The Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference was back in person at the end of September after a two-year break. Produced by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, HITEC showcases the industry's latest innovations and provides an education program for attendees. This year slightly more than 4,000 attendees participated in the event, which was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, with more than 250 exhibiting companies set up in 60,000+ square feet of exhibit space. In addition, HFTP’s annual convention was co-located with HITEC with a focus on education sessions that featured finance-related topics.

“The first word that comes to mind is ‘gratitude,’” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe. “This week has been a tremendous success and HFTP is extremely grateful for all the support from the vendor community and our attendees representing multiple segments across the hospitality industry. We heard over and over how wonderful it was to be together again.”

HITEC, in its 49th year, had gone virtual last year due to the pandemic and in 2021 returned as an in-person event. Here’s a roundup of what some of those exhibiting companies introduced at the event. 

Aavgo debuted its Virtual Front Desk product, which features contactless check-in, a digital app for in-house guests to order roomservice and request amenities, digital workflow-management tools to help reduce operating costs by 50 percent and a front- and back-of-house smart platform. Aavgo is focused  on the digitization of all hotel processes that impact operations, guest experience and the bottom line of hotels. 


Agilysys released the modernized Agilysys Visual One PMS Version 12. The new release offers cloud and on-premises installation options, a browser-based application with modern user experiences, broad mobile device support, multiproperty feature sets and seamless integration with other Agilysys and third-party solutions, providing an enterprisewide integrated option for full-service resorts and hotels.

React Mobile and Amadeus are making it easier for hoteliers to adopt and implement municipal and state mandated employee safety devices. The integration between the Amadeus HotSOS Housekeeping platform and the React Mobile panic button solution is aiding hoteliers in creating safer work environments by leveraging innovative technology.

Assa Abloy Global Solutions

With contactless guest service still essential to regaining guest confidence and trust, Assa Abloy Global Solutions provided attendees with first-hand insight into its mobile access solution, a digital key platform accessible via personal guest device that serves as a contactless-compatible and convenient alternative to front desk check-in and guestroom access. 

AT&T is working with Concord Hospitality Enterprises to provide hotel associates with a wearable, connected solution to help keep employees safe and secure while they are on the job. AT&T Staff Alert was custom-built with Link Labs to help full-service hotels fulfill the American Hotel & Lodging Association's 5-Star Promise to enhance hotel safety. Associates can use the device to summon help if they are injured or feel threatened in any way.  

Brandstand Products
One of the newest wireless charging products featured at HITEC 2021 was the Brandstand CubieDuo—an alarm clock that features dual USB charging ports plus Qi Wireless charging.

Cloud5 Communications
Cloud5 Communications showcased its internet and voice offerings as well as a new suite of services designed to maximize hotel resources, reduce costs, drive new revenue streams and engage guests. Cloud5 also introduced its broad range of managed IT services, designed specifically for the hospitality industry. 

Cloudbeds displayed its Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform, including the recently released Cloudbeds payments and Cloudbeds websites. The company also previewed coming products that will further extend its commitment to creating better experiences for hospitality providers and guests. 

Cox Business Hospitality Group
Debuting for the first time at HITEC, the Cox Business Hospitality Group creates a stronger, more unified identity for hospitality, convention and stadium customers. Hospitality Network, a Cox Business Hospitality Group company, powers connectivity at 6 million square feet of convention and meeting spaces and 37 stadiums, including Allegiant Stadium, State Farm Stadium (the Super Bowl 2022 host) and T-Mobile Arena.

DIRECTV’s Advanced Entertainment Platform offers robust entertainment options for guests, including live TV, access to free-to-guest streaming apps with no usernames or passwords required, and thousands of house of content from dozens of programmers in the DIRECTV On Demand app. Additional customizable features are available. 

Dish Business
DISH Business is introducing the all-new, cutting-edge Smartbox 2 for an enhanced in-room entertainment experience. The Smartbox 2 takes up to 40 percent less space and is 50 percent more efficient than Smartbox and supports any size property across all different infrastructure types. It also works with any existing network with no costly rewires necessary.

EnGenius offered an opportunity to preview the company’s first SIP hospitality-friendly solution that will be launched in Q4. This new long-range voice communication solution will allow hospitality staff to move about the property without losing contact with guests, customers and other staff. This non-DECT and non-Wi-Fi voice communication system requires minimal infrastructure, decreasing costs and improving productivity.

IDeaS Revenue Solutions introduced Profit Optimization for the G3 Revenue Management System. Profit Optimization is an enhancement to the G3 RMS revenue science engine that enables it to capture the most valuable business while considering the total contribution for each guest. This allows hoteliers to evaluate total revenues, profit margins for each revenue stream and the costs associated with acquiring and servicing guest stays in real time while determining highly sought metrics such as profit per available room.

Impulsify announced its contactless grab-and-go kiosk for lobby retail transactions. Their ShopPoP kiosk now provides a QR code to give users the option of going touchless when purchasing items at their self-service pay stations used by the hospitality and multifamily industries. ShopPoP is a standalone countertop pay station that allows users to scan and pay for food and beverage items without assistance from a front desk associate or cashier.

Infor released a significant update to Infor Sales and Catering with two new guest self-service portals for online booking and ordering. Part of the Infor CloudSuite Hospitality suite of solutions, Infor Sales & Catering is designed around the beginning-to-end stages of an event. This process-driven life cycle technology is customizable and designed to streamline processes for added productivity, building consistent business practices to improve data integrity and eliminating errors to help reduce costs. 

Intelity now integrates with Nuvola, the cloud-based hotel optimization platform. The new integration expands Intelity's existing omni-channel guest messaging capabilities and further enriches Nuvola’s capabilities to connect with guests straight from Nuvola’s Guest Chat and Request Management solutions. In addition to guest messaging, service request ticketing has also been included.This new integration, already being deployed at live properties, allows hoteliers to offer guests immediate access to staff directly from their mobile phones. 

M3 Accounting
M3 Accounting, the cloud-based accounting, financial and data-management platform, offered product tutorials and answered questions about M3’s suite of services to registrants. Additional information, including whitepapers and recent press materials, was made available to interested attendees.

A new full integration partnership between Maestro PMS and PurpleCloud offers their mutual clients a Housekeeping Task Optimization Platform that focuses on efficient scheduling based on true clean times and dynamic, real-time check-ins and checkouts. The PurpleCloud platform is user-friendly and incentivizes team members based on key hotel goals.

Nomadix showcased its portfolio of hotel internet and guest-facing technologies. To create comfortable, convenient and safer stays, Nomadix is helping equip properties with innovative products that increase guest satisfaction and loyalty, while alleviating some of the industry's staffing challenges, including Nomadix casting, Angie by Nomadix voice assistants, Nomadix cloud PBX, Gateway portfolio, Nomadix passpoint and hotel portal.

Nuvola launched the new 5.0 platform designed to further enhance the guest experience, ease daily task management for staff and speak to the current needs of the hospitality industry. The complete systemwide upgrade includes new user interface and user experience to increase practicality and intuitive functionality. Shortcuts and advanced search filters are now available to create more direct access to information through minimized clicks.

Onity showcased its mobile access solutions, integrations capabilities and new Serene luxury lock. Onity is part of Carrier Global Corp., the global provider of healthy, safe, sustainable and intelligent building and cold chain solutions. Onity's DirectKey mobile access technology serves as a solution for both large hotel brands and smaller independent hotels. 

Orion’s voice-first intelligent collaboration platform empowers hospitality operations with voice-first multimodal collaboration that includes high-quality push-to-talk audio, text and visual media across any device. Hospitality teams communicate in ad hoc, 1:1 or limited group environments that enable managers to connect directly with relevant workers like food and beverage service, housekeeping, security, engineering, spa, grounds, transportation and front-desk teams. 

PLI Card Marketing Solutions
PLI Card Marketing Solutions introduced the initiative Re.Solve to Con.Serve, a program that fosters environmental sustainability and supply chain health through collaboration between PLI and individual hotel brands and properties. The program reaches beyond our raw materials and product attributes and leverages new ways for PLI to work in collaboration with clients to address today’s sustainability challenges.

PPDS, the exclusive global provider of Philips professional TV and digital signage products, launched the 4K UHD Philips MediaSuite 75-inch connected pro TV. Available now for preorder, the new size variant brings all the advanced features and capabilities. The upgradable Philips MediaSuite 75-inch edition runs on the Android TV operating system and comes equipped with extensive entertainment choice and capabilities, plus advanced personalization, remote control and management functionality. 

ProfitSword’s key goal was to educate attendees on how recent innovations in business intelligence can transform operations by saving critical labor resources while still delivering powerful performance-measuring analytics. Booth demonstrations included showcasing how today’s hoteliers can leverage new solutions to fully automate data-gathering processes, resulting in a substantial decrease in the need for labor and representing thousands of dollars saved in overhead expenses.

React Mobile
React Mobile unveiled version 2.0 of its workforce safety platform, which is designed to deliver the highest panic button reliability and beacon location accuracy while being radically simpler for hotel workers to use. React Mobile 2.0 features silent alarm, verifiable dispatch, a confidential system and instant activation.

Relay is a communications platform for frontline teams that replaces the smartphone and makes the walkie-talkie obsolete. A product of the team behind Republic Wireless, the push-to-talk, voice-first hand-held Relay device is easier to use than a simple walkie-talkie, has nationwide range with 4G LTE and WiFi, and is built upon a powerful and flexible software platform that can rapidly adapt to the needs of virtually any team. Relay’s vision is to empower frontline teams with technology that allows them to safely and quickly connect to the people and information they need to get their jobs done more efficiently.

Roar for Good
Roar for Good has been approved for U.S. Patent No. 11,128,987, which recognizes the uniqueness of, and protects the significant technological advancement of Roar for Good’s Bluetooth Low Energy mesh network system, which has applicability across numerous industries. The innovation, which was created in an effort to eliminate “drops,” blind spots or downed coverage for network security systems, was developed and rigorously tested by a team of Roar for Good engineers over the course of several years. 

Sabre Corp.
Sabre Corp. released its SynXis Property Hub, the cloud-native property-management system that allows hoteliers to focus on what matters most: a connected, seamless and personalized guest experience. With the release, Sabre’s launch customers will implement SynXis Property Hub across more than 450 properties. 

Samsung’s newest guest-facing technology is its New QLED 4K Smart TV Series. The Q60A and Q50A Hospitality TVs combine Samsung’s Quantum Dot processors with 4K resolution and smart TV features for optimal picture quality and sound. The series boasts Quantum HDR, which offers guests a wider range of brightness and high contrast, while its sleek and slim design simplifies mounting and installations, allowing seamless integration into any environment.

At HITEC, Sertifi displayed its integration with its partners, whether it be a reminder of Sertifi’s longstanding integrations with Opera from Oracle Hospitality and Amadeus to its most recent announcement of a partnership with Infor Hospitality.

Sonifi’s demonstrated its next-generation interactive platform, Sora, which offers personalized experiences for guests with minimal on-site hardware and customizable promotion opportunities for properties. Complementing the interactive TV experience is StayCast and its guest internet solutions that are customized in a variety of infrastructures to offer reliable Wi-Fi connections.

Spectrum Enterprise
Spectrum Enterprise launched TV Streaming Access for healthcare and hospitality organizations, a new feature of Spectrum Enterprise video service designed to enhance patient and guest experiences. In addition to using in-room TVs, individuals can watch programming from an app or browser on their personal mobile devices, tablets and computers while connected to the Wi-Fi network in a healthcare facility or on a hotel property. Spectrum Enterprise TV Streaming Access offers more than 200 live TV channels featuring entertainment, news, sports, Spanish-language and international programming.

TraknProtect’s location-based technology platform uses real-time tracking to more efficiently deploy staff and manage inventory. The company’s approach to inventory tracking allows hotel workers to immediately know the exact location of your property’s guest-requested items, from rollaway beds to cribs. This way, hotel employees do not have to spend time searching for misplaced amenities, can exceed guest expectations and even help with adjusting future processes to avoid operational bottlenecks.

Vaask introduced a hand sanitizer fixture purposefully designed for modern interiors, featuring all-metal construction with real finishes including bronze and brushed stainless. Inspired by the Norwegian word for “wash,” Vaask is the work of the team behind Big Ass Fans’ Haiku, the ceiling fan beloved by interior designers and architects that has won more than 75 design and technology awards. 

Visual Matrix
Visual Matrix provided attendees with the opportunity to learn how recent cloud-based innovations can help hoteliers meet their unique operational requirements throughout the industry’s recovery. The company demonstrated how hoteliers can streamline a property’s operations through the new VM Mobile feature, which provides instant and intuitive access to all PMS functions through a comprehensive downloadable app.

At the show, hoteliers learned how to control Interel's EOS thermostat by voice command. The Internet of Things device for smart buildings leverages Volara’s secure integrations hub to respond to voice commands spoken by guests who seek touchless control over the guestroom environment. The new EOS Wi-Fi Smart Thermostat turns any building into a smart building with its built-in environmental fusion sensor and IoT hub capabilities. It features seven environmental sensors, including a barometric pressure sensor, that will soon detect door and window openings. 

World Cinema
World Cinema announced its partnership with Four Winds Interactive to bring purpose-built digital signage solutions to hotel and multifamily properties nationwide. Digital signage allows properties to promote their services, attractions, and special features and offers in an attractive and easy to read format. Digital signage has a multitude of use cases, but most prominent key benefits of using digital signage is to generate additional revenue, improved guest and resident satisfaction scores and drive content across your entire property. 

Hoteliers experienced the simple, fast digital tipping platform for hotel guests. Youtip is an enterprise gratuity solution with full reporting capabilities. Tips will be processed via youtip integration partner Volara, the voice hub for the hotel industry. Tippers will scan a QR code featured on a Volara-powered Google Nest Hub sitting atop the bar.