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 back in 2016, replacing them with USB charging hubs. Other hotels have followed suit, suggesting that alarm clocks are difficult to use, take up a valuable power outlet, and that guests tend to set alarms on their smartphones instead.
But maybe they were using the wrong alarm clocks.
Times have certainly changed and alarm clocks have changed along with them. For a start, technology has moved on significantly since the first generation of digital alarm clocks debuted in the 1960s. Those early products often featured overly bright LED displays, and were notoriously difficult to program.
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In contrast, modern clocks – such as those in the Cubie product line made by Brandstand – include multiple dimming options, are simpler to use, and incorporate other useful features, too. Designed specifically for hotel use, the CubieTime interface has been optimized to be user-friendly for all ages, enabling alarms to be set and cancelled with a simple press and twist of its top-mounted knob.
CubieTime’s automatic daylight saving time and default single-day alarm also put an end to worrying if the time is right or being awoken by a previous hotel guest’s alarm. While an innovative security C-clamp and UL spill tested receptacles reduce the risk of accidental loss and damage. After all, if you invest in a hotel alarm clock, you want it to last.
But making alarm clocks easier to use is only part of why alarm clocks are growing in popularity and making a comeback in hotels. After all, a bedside clock is convenient, and it takes pressure off front desk staff to log and manage individual wake-up calls.
Crucially, hotels are recognizing that modern technology can offer elegant and powerful clock solutions that can not only combat old complaints (‘Some idiot set the alarm to go off at 4 am!’), but give guests added functionality they weren’t expecting
More than just an alarm clock
So, what do guests want from an alarm clock? Or rather, what is it that guests DON’T want? For a start, they don’t want a gadget that swallows up a lot of space on a bedside table. It’s why Brandstand’s Cubie digital alarm clocks are designed to be compact. Hoteliers will undoubtedly appreciate the small 3.5-inch footprint of the CubieWink, which is perfectly scaled for the ever-shrinking nightstand.
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.
Petite in size, the Brandstand CubieWink features 2x USB ports ready to charge mobile phones and tablets.
With this in mind, clocks like the Brandstand CubieTime feature a ‘pass through plug’, and two surge protected power outlets, a pair of USB-A ports and a USB-C charging port (UK and EU versions). Not only can guests charge a phone easily on the nightstand, they can charge two, plus several other gadgets simultaneously. Welcome to the era of the charging alarm clock.
And why stop at wired charging? Increasingly, modern hotel alarm clocks come with a built-in wireless charging option. The small footprint of the Brandstand CubieTrio, for example, conceals the ability to wirelessly charge a smartphone via a Qi charging pad on top of the unit. It’s also compliant with Samsung Fast charge 10W and Apple 7.5W specs.
Additionally, two tamper-resistant power outlets and a pair of front-facing USB sockets can supply enough juice to charge a range of extra devices.
The CubieTrio+, pictured above, incorporates wired and wireless charging, plus a built-in Bluetooth speaker for music playback.
Speaking of extra devices, another good example of specific solutions for the hotel environment is the Bluetooth functionality that’s incorporated into the Brandstand CubieBlue. This enables guests to connect and play their own music via the speaker built into the base of the unit – an added extra that helps them personalize their room and feel more at home.
The system is also designed to forget the previous room occupant’s Bluetooth details, allowing easy and efficient pairing for each new visitor..
Designed for the hotel industry
The alarm clock has taken on several different forms during its long history, including alarm clock radios, projection alarm clocks, even alarm clocks that can auto-brew you a cup of tea/coffee. The charging alarm clock reflects the age we live in, an age where we travel with (and rely on) multiple devices and need to keep them charged.
The Brandstand Cubie range of charging alarm clocks makes this easy, adding up to three different ways to charge your gadgets - built-in, tamper-resistant power outlets, USB ports (Type A and Type C) and Qi Wireless charging technology.
For hotels, combining alarm clock and charger functionality simplifies procurement, avoids troubleshooting and reduces initial capital outlay. But it also adds value, delighting hotel guests by delivering more functionality than they typically expect.
It’s easy to underestimate the value of a hotel alarm clock. Maybe it’s time to take another, closer look?
Wake up to the value of a Brandstand hotel alarm clock.
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