Farukh Aslam

CEO Sinclair Holdings/Owner Operator Sinclair Autograph, Marriott International

Supernova Award Category: 

Data to Decisions

The Organization: 

The Sinclair Autograph is the world’s first all digital hotel and is part of the Autograph Collection within Marriott’s 30 brand segments.  Marriott is the largest hospitality company in the world with over 7300 properties reaching 131 countries worldwide and totaling 1.3M rooms worldwide.

The Sinclair utilizes Intel internet of things (IoT) functionality, including building and in-room sensors; gateways; dashboards; and IoT-based restaurant sinks and appliances. Together, Intel and The Sinclair are delivering the next-generation connected guest experience through location-based analytics by using the latest offerings from various digital vendors to advance the hospitality industry experience.

The Problem: 

Within the hospitality industry, there is a growing need to provide a memorable, compelling, and differentiated guest experience while also providing the automation and efficiencies for operations and associates. Hospitality leaders want their guests to receive a personalized greeting upon arrival. And they want to inform guests about available amenities of interest, based on what they know about individual guests. In short, they want guests to feel known, appreciated and informed.

Leading hospitality companies want their guests to feel well cared for because that’s what drives affinity and loyalty. Things like informing guests of relevant amenities and offers can produce additional revenue, which is a bonus while also producing a more personalized experience. Guests are constantly generating data that could help hospitality service delivery teams create a transformative, personalized guest experience through their use of mobile devices. Because of this, hospitality companies now have the ability to connect with their guests on this level. The connected experience delivery is the part where things can get complicated. Which is where SAS, Cisco and Intel, working together, can make all the difference.

The Solution: 

Combining the on-property network infrastructure, IoT-connected devices and assets, mobility and location applications, data compute and processing power, and advanced analytics capabilities needed to put all that data to its best use is where it gets tricky. Hospitality companies looking to provide a connected guest experience must bring together a range of different capabilities. Those companies must deliver a reliable stream of useful guest data using indoor Wi-Fi infrastructure assets that are secure and scalable. They must improve their understanding of how people (guests, visitors and staff) and things (such as assets and sensors) interact within properties, which requires digitizing physical spaces to see what’s happening on their properties. Then they must use advanced analytics capabilities to make sense of all the data, along with context awareness. Together, these solutions help hospitality leaders use data to determine what to do, when, with whom and how.

The Results: 

The Sinclair hotel is one of a growing number of examples of how IoT technology is making buildings smarter and allowing hospitality providers to build richer, more personalized experiences for guests and associates. Visitors who stay at the hotel get the benefit of being able to customize their visit – by connecting the hotel’s environmental controls systems to the popular Marriott phone app, hotel guests that opt in for this service can have the settings for the temperature, lights, window shades and other in-room environmental options automatically configured to match their preferences from the moment they check in. Guests can also use custom in-room “scenes” to control lights window shades and other connected devices in rooms to pick the environment that best suits what guests want at any particular moment (ie. good morning, social, relax and romantic). There is also exercise equipment that allows them to “give back” to the environment. Guests can reduce their carbon footprint when they stay at this hotel by using the energy generated by their use of exercise equipment to feed back into the digitally-controlled DC power grid of this hotel.Those are just a few of the specific benefits that guests will get from experience that the digital transformation of The Sinclair, Autograph Collection in Fort Worth. There are many other benefits for both the hotel and its guests from the digitally-powered design of the facility.


Sinclair became one of the first projects in the US to use Voltserver’s Power over Ethernet (PoE) so extensively to power Cisco switches. The system controls more than 2,000 light fixtures, minibars, and automated window shades. Each device has its own IP address and can be remotely controlled by staff and guests. The Sinclair is projected to cut energy consumption by 40%, due to its use of PoE. Utilities are the second highest expense in hotels so, this technology saves Sinclair 40% of its utility bill. This also allows the property to forgo the need to hire electricians, saving thousands in labor costs. The Sinclair’s backup power system runs on the world’s first UL 924 lithium ion battery. Compared to diesel generators, which are often used by buildings, the lithium ion battery takes up less space, is environmentally-friendly, and can power the building for nearly 3 hours during a power outage. Because of the short time the hotel was open before closing due to COVID-19, there is no quantitative satisfaction metrics, but we do have positive reviews of guests’ stays. The following being one: “[The Sinclair] has seamlessly incorporated numerous smart, 21st-century amenities like smart lighting, shower, blinds and mirror... And the facility is powered by a state-of-the-art DC micro-grid system that uses far less power than an AC powered hotel. So, you can reduce your impact on the planet just by staying there. Loved this hotel.”

The Technology: 

The Sinclair functions more efficiently and provides data-driven insights to personalize guest experiences. Intel’s IoT gateway brings together the data, edge computing power and management capabilities of the smart building infrastructure. Cisco’s Meraki smart Wi-Fi cloud networking solution offers location-based analytics and personalized guest messaging. Power over Ethernet (PoE) delivers its patented “Digital Electricity” solution to power Cisco switches.

Disruptive Factor: 

Through these innovations, The Sinclair is reimagining the future of hotels to provide enhanced and personalized technology-driven experiences for guests and hospitality professionals alike. Hotel staff can use mobile devices to connect to reservation and property management software anywhere on the premises, increasing productivity and customer service. Wireless point of sale systems enable food and drink sales anywhere on the property. Hotel guests can configure environmental settings, such as temperature, lighting and shower preferences, with a few taps to a digital screen, allowing for a personalized experience. 

Sinclair’s breakthrough power over ethernet (PoE) system has the potential to affect the direction of how we design electrical systems in buildings worldwide. Several government agencies are partnering with the hotel to supervise the building’s power consumption, which could improve how we use and save energy, and perhaps even make PoE more common.

Sinclair is just the beginning of IoT technology modernizing the hotel industry. Using the data collected by the IoT sensors and gateways, advanced analytics will provide the ultimate guest, associate and operational experience. Sending guests personalized messages, making buildings more environmentally friendly, and having guest preferences saved so that any hotel room feels like home will all be commonplace in the hotel of the future.

Shining Moment: 

With PoE, Sinclair will power its more than 2,000 lights and amenities via an IP address on a computer network, which will reduce the building’s energy consumption by ~40%. If a light or other PoE device goes out, the Sinclair will get a notification. The property is better and more sustainably prepared than most hotels when a power outage occurs.

About Marriott International

A historic art deco icon meets cutting edge luxury at The Sinclair, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel. The new Sinclair awakens the majesty of its landmark building in downtown Fort Worth to anchor Sundance Square as a preeminent luxury destination. Meet The Sinclair, where innovation, authenticity, and unparalleled Texas hospitality convene in Fort Worth.Bottom of Form