By Mark Mayne, Technology Writer
It’s easy to underestimate the value of a hotel alarm clock. Walt Disney World banished alarm clocks from its hotels in 2016, replacing them with USB charging hubs. Other hotels have followed suit, citing reasons such as: ‘alarm clocks are difficult to use’ and ‘alarm clocks take up a valuable power outlet’, while pointing out that guests tend to set alarms on their smartphones instead.
But maybe they were using the wrong alarm clocks.
Technology has moved on significantly since the first generation of digital alarm clocks appeared in the 1960s. For example, those early products often featured overly bright LED displays and were notoriously difficult to program. In contrast, modern clocks (like those made by Brandstand) include multiple dimming options, are simpler to use, and clearly show when an alarm has been set.
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These are just some of the reasons why the alarm clock is making a comeback in hotels. After all, a bedside clock is convenient, and it takes pressure off front desk staff to log and manage manual ‘wake-up calls’. Crucially, hotels are recognising that modern technology can offer an elegant and powerful clock solution that can not only combat old complaints (‘Some idiot set the alarm to go off at 4am!’), but give guests added functionality they weren’t expecting.
So, what do guests want from an alarm clock?
This revolves around a key question: what do guests want from an alarm clock? Or rather, what DON’T guests want? For a start, they don’t want a gadget that swallows up a lot of space on a bedside table, which is why the Cubie range of digital alarm clocks from Brandstand are designed to be compact and have a minimal footprint.
Guests also don’t want a clock that takes up a valuable power outlet next to the bed, forcing them to unplug it just to charge a smartphone. With this in mind, clocks like the Brandstand CubieBlue feature two ‘pass through’, surge protected power outlets, two USB A ports and one USB C charging port. Not only can guests charge a phone easily, they can charge two, plus several other gadgets simultaneously.
Giving guests more than they expect
Why stop at wired charging? Some modern alarm clocks now come with built-in wireless charging. The small footprint of the Brandstand CubieDuo, for example, conceals the ability to wirelessly charge a smartphone via a Qi charging pad. It’s also compliant with Samsung Fast charge 10W and Apple 7.5W specs. Meanwhile, a pair of front-facing USB sockets are designed to supply enough juice to charge iPads and tablets.
The CubieDuo, pictured above, incorporates wired and wireless charging.
Another good example of specific solutions for the hotel environment is the Bluetooth functionality incorporated into the Brandstand CubieBlue. This is designed to forget the previous room occupant’s Bluetooth details, allowing easy and efficient pairing for each new visitor. Why would guests need Bluetooth? To connect and play their own music, an added extra that helps them personalise their room and feel more at home.
Designed for the hospitality industry
Of course, one of the main reasons that people don’t use hotel alarm clocks is that they are often unnecessarily complicated to set. Designed specifically for hotel use, the CubieTime user interface has been optimised to be user friendly for all ages, enabling alarms to be set and cancelled with a simple press and twist of its top-mounted dial.
CubieTime’s automatic daylight saving time and default single day alarm put an end to worrying if the time is right or being awoken by a previous hotel guest’s alarm. Meanwhile, an innovative security c-clamp and above-standard spill-proofing reduce the risk of accidental loss and damage. If you invest in a hotel alarm clock, you want it to last.
While the individual benefits of the Cubie product line are powerful in their own right, the overall benefit for hotel owners in combining charging and alarm clock functionality is considerable, simplifying procurement, troubleshooting and reducing initial capital outlay.
The time is now right for the hotel alarm clock to make a triumphant return.
Wake up to the value of a Brandstand hotel alarm clock.
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