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Universal using Comcast’s MachineQ to infuse IoT into park operations


Comcast has announced a collaboration between its Internet of Things (IoT) service, MachineQ, and Universal Parks and Resorts.

Universal Orlando Resort will use MachineQ’s IoT hardware and software tools across the entire resort. The platform will allow Universal’s operations and IT teams to quickly test and launch IoT projects designed to increase operational efficiency in the park.

“We’ve identified multiple applications where MachineQ’s low-power IoT platform can deliver data to us faster than previous methods, and we’re seeing the positive impact that can have for our teams,” said Bill McCorey, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Universal Parks and Resorts.

“We’ve conducted a number of pilots for different use cases, and have plans to put several of them into production in Orlando. As our teams continue to take advantage of the MachineQ platform, we anticipate more adoption from our internal teams, and even greater efficiencies as a result.”

Universal will employ low-power wide area networking (LPWAN) technology for IoT projects. Wireless sensors that can detect temperature, location, energy consumption and more can be attached to park assets that operations teams want to monitor or control, such as food refrigeration units, fleet vehicles, and utility meters.

Once activity is recorded by a sensor, it sends the data wirelessly to a MachineQ gateway, which is delivered to a digital dashboard used by park operations and IT staff.

It’s hoped the new technology will optimise maintenance schedules, identify anomalies in the consumption of utilities, and understand usage patterns of fleet vehicles.

“While we offer a growing number of pre-defined IoT solutions, we are excited to see businesses, such as Universal Parks and Resorts, leverage our platform and APIs to rapidly build and customise solutions unique to them,” said Alex Khorram, General Manager of MachineQ.

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“Universal’s adoption of IoT to enhance the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies is similar to what we’ve seen in other industries where digital transformation is happening – such as agriculture, multi-dwelling housing, manufacturing or food service.

“Once the platform is deployed, and organizations learn more about the technology and the ability to add new connected use cases with relative ease, the positive impact on the business becomes very real.”

The engineering team at Universal is leveraging MachineQ’s public APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to build an application that connects storage lockers at the Volcano Bay water theme park.

Universal is also piloting a solution to use IoT sensors to improve management of its food and beverage inventory at the resort using more data. Future use cases could include smart outdoor lighting, tracking mobile assets like golf carts, and water leak detection.

Internet of Things at Beijing’s Palace Museum

Elsewhere, Beijing’s Palace Museum has partnered with Huawei to build a smart network with 5G technology. It also plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) around the complex.

Image: MachineQ

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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