Sinclair Holdings Uses PoE Technology in the World's First All-Digital Hotel
February 6, 2020
Several years ago, Farukh Aslam, the CEO of Sinclair Holdings, had a vision: transform a 1929 historic building into an upscale luxury hotel. Originally, the hotel was designed as a standard conversion, using technology that would have been familiar to those constructing the original building – AC lighting.
Aslam decided to look for other solutions and, in his search, he found people at Cisco systems who were using low-voltage PoE technology to transform buildings and knew he found the right solution for his hotel. “PoE is promising in the sense that you can both data and power over the same cable,” said Aslam. Using the advances in PoE technology for new applications created the world’s first all-digital hotel in Fort Worth, Texas, and described the project to Fortune Magazine.
At the completion of the project, over 7,000 endpoints have been connected using Ethernet cables and low-voltage power, including lighting, shade controls, shower controls, in-mirror infotainment, TVs, HVAC controls, and more. Pointing out the unique capabilities of PoE technology, Aslam continued, “This ability to communicate with every device using PoE power is what makes it very promising as a technology.”
The guest experience drove the vision of what could be possible in a truly digital hotel, but the energy efficiency opportunities drive immediate returns on the investments. “After labor, the second-highest expense in a hotel operation is the hotel utilities. Saving 40% of utilities bills is significant,” Aslam said.
Within the hotel, energy efficiency can be scaled into automatic actions in every room. When a south facing room is empty during the day, the room can trigger automatic measures to reduce energy consumption such as closing the shades, turning off a TV left on, adjusting the thermostat setting, and more. To Aslam, this means that, “we can make already energy efficient devices even more efficient.”
Additionally, PoE and low-voltage technology provides efficiencies and cost reductions from the point of installation, reducing build-out costs. “You don’t need an electrician to install the electricity in the way that Faruk is doing,” noted Stacey Shulman, Chief Innovation Officer at Intel IoT Retail Solutions Division.
According to Shulman, there are some clear learnings from the Sinclair project, including one that stands out: “Think a little bit more ambitiously,” said Shulman.
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A thank-you to all partners involved in this project, including: Cisco, Intel, Voltserver, LG, Ivani, Superior Essex, SAS, Somfy, Igor, and others. Read the original press release here.