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November 13, 2019

AT&T Uses IoT Safety Buttons for US Hotel Staff Safety


The hospitality industry has been quick to recognize the importance of developing an IoT strategy, as guests typically crave the comforts of their home within the more luxurious confines of a hotel room. IoT devices lend to a more customized experience, which not only creates a more personalized guest experience but also allows hotels to reduce costs and tap into the power of automation.

AT&T recently developed a wearable safety device using Internet of Things (IoT) technology. The device will help hotel employees summon assistance in certain threatening situations. When a hotel staff person presses the button from their device, an alert is transmitted to hotel security.

It sounds simple, but it will have a massive impact in the industry.

Studies have shown a critical need for a device like this in the hotel industry. When it comes to workplace health and safety, hotel staff suffer more than we might know. A study shows that 89% of hospitality workers have experienced sexual harassment while on the job. This alarmingly high number is what sparked the design for the AT&T Staff Alert Services “safety buttons.”

How do the safety buttons work?

The safety buttons provide micro-location data by using a combination of Bluetooth, ultrasound and 4G LTE connectivity. This combination avoids congesting WiFi networks and gives real-time alerts. The location of the safety buttons are tracked and can be triangulated to pinpoint the location of the worker, even when they are on the move.  When the worker activates the safety button, the system can calculate the location and send an alarm within seconds to hotel management and security staff. 

This infrastructure can also be customized to support other solutions, such as room tray tracking, asset management and vendor management.   Services like this can be interoperable with other IoT applications for a wide range of guest services and operational efficiencies.

Are hotels using these buttons?

AT&T is working on the rollout. Right now, AT&T is working on getting the buttons into major hotel chains across the US.

Various jurisdictions across the country are requiring safety buttons for the hospitality industry in an effort to prioritize employee safety. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) along with major hotel brands, have pledged to provide hotel employees across the U.S. with employee safety devices. This is part of their program called the 5-Star Promise to help enhance the safety and security of hotel workers.

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