DURBAN - The handy travel smartphone was launched on Thursday at the Waterfront Hotel and Spa.
Handy is a travel smartphone that can be used by people who are travelling to make the most out of their travel experience.
The smartphone can be found in their hotel room when they arrive and can be used to make local and international calls, discover destinations to visit in the city that they are visiting and keep in contact with their hotel.
Barry Clemens, the General Manager Africa and the Indian Ocean, said, "The handy smartphone is a travel buddy that make local and international calls and it is a city guide".
The project started off with $40 million worth of funding which was used to produce 100 000 phones. They later received more funding of about $120 million and then the company went global.
The handy smartphone is now available in 40 countries, 100 cities and 4500 hotels. The company plans on having 2 million phones in action by next year and 5 million in the next two years.
The smartphone is made by Foxconn, the same company that manufactures devices for companies like Apple, Blackberry and Huawei. The device also has an Android operating system.
The handy smartphone has the following features:
1. Download any apps on the device
2. LUXOS City Guide which is city specific
3. Unlimited global calls to certain countries and unlimited calls locally.
4. Unlimited on-device browser
5. The speed dial option to call their hotel from wherever they are.
6. An NFC chip which allows for keyless door access.
The handy smartphone also has a SmartDock, a substitute for the in-room phone that can be found in hotels. It also provides remote access to hotel services, private branch exchange systems, a property management system, in-room control, contact charging and concierge at a touch of a button.
The handy smartphone is suitable for the hotel too because of its hotel portal. The HotelPortal has push messaging that allows the guests to be informed about events or hotel services as well as a POS system that can benefit the hotel by providing guests with full mobile access to hotel services.
The device is also hotel-specific, with each device having the name of the hotel displayed on the device. For example, the devices based at the Waterfront Hotel and Spa will have the name of the hotel displayed on the screen.
The devices are safe to use and when you are done with your stay at a hotel then the user can erase all their information from the phone.
The handy smartphone is available to users when they get to their hotels and once you are done with your stay at the hotel, the handy stay back to be available for the next hotel guest.
Clemens said, "The handy is all about enhancing the guest experience and giving the hotel the chance to increase their revenues and guest satisfaction". According to Clemens, the handy smartphone is there to "revolutionise travel".
- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE