Much like the properties themselves, hotel technology has advanced in leaps and bounds during recent years. Not only are “smart” systems entirely prevalent, but guests can expect to enjoy more interactive experiences than ever before. Let us briefly highlight eleven amazing hotel technology trends and what these might signify for the industry as a whole.
Why is Hotel Technology Becoming More Important?
The notion of “business as usual” within the hotel industry is quickly evolving. While generic and so-called “cookie-cutter” services may have sufficed a handful of years ago, this is no longer the case. Guests are now demanding more personalised options so that properties can meet their discrete requirements. Furthermore, the rise of the digital community signifies that competition is rife. Hotels therefore need to leverage the resources and systems at their disposal if they hope to retain loyal clients. Hotel technology is playing a significant role and its presence is only expected to increase in the coming years. Let’s now take a look at eleven upcoming and interesting hotel technology trends within the hotel industry.
Hotel Technology Trends: 11 Upcoming Innovations
1. Smart Hotels
It seems as if “smart” technology has become an inextricable component of our daily lives. Its importance has not been lost within the hospitality sector. Automated checkout services, customised environmental settings within each room, the use of the Internet of Things (IoT), and wireless data linking are now all becoming commonplace. The ultimate goal is to provide guests with a fully customised experience. This will help to reinforce the brand identity of the hotel in question and as a result, they are more likely to return in the future.
Video: Smart Hotel Solutions
You can read more detailed information and examples about how smart hotel rooms can benefit your hotel in the articles “Smart Hotel Room; What Are the Benefits for Hotel Owners and Guests” and “7 Ways to Transform a Hotel Room Into a Smart Room”.
2. Service Automation
Self-service automation intends to place the decision-making process in the hands of the guests as opposed to hotel staff. This directly follows trends which have been witnessed across multiple sectors. Self-service kiosks, online registration, targeted feedback questionnaires, and options to pre-set the amenities within a room are now beginning to take centre stage. However, this is not to say that traditional staff have been remove from the equation. Their services are rather being augmented with a heightened sense of in-house automation.
3. Facial Recognition Technology
Many consumers are just beginning to become accustomed to facial recognition technology; particularly in relation to smartphone security. Still, it is important to mention that these very same methods represent another important facet of modern hotel technology. There are several benefits which facial recognition applications are able to provide:
- Enhanced levels of security and privacy
- Only authorised personnel will be allowed to enter specific areas
- This method can be used in conjunction with electronic payments as another form of verification
Video: Facial Recognition Check-in in Marriott China
Find more detailed information about how your hotel can benefit from facial recognition in the article “4 Use Cases of Facial Recognition in The Hotel Industry”.
We are not necessarily referring to the Terminator franchise in this sense. On the contrary, hotel technology is now becoming more reliant upon the increased capabilities of robots in relation to guest services and accommodations. Robots are able to embrace the role of a concierge with memorable results. They can also be used as suitcases; allowing travellers to enjoy a hands-free edge when navigating between two different locations. Another interesting observation is that hospitality-oriented robots can be used to perform basic tasks such as answering common guest questions and providing room service. In fact, one hotel in Japan is already fully staffed by these mechanical marvels. However, robots will more likely be used to supplicate human interaction as opposed to replace it altogether.
Video: Alibaba’s ‘Future Hotel’ Uses Robots
Find more detailed information and examples about robot use cases in the hotel industry in the article “8 Examples of Robots Being Used in the Hotel Industry”.
5. Guest Apps
Smartphones have taken centre stage in terms of daily communications. From chatting with friends to answering emails and purchasing products online, the fact of the matter is that the average consumer has come to depend upon such innovative applications. This observation has not been lost within the hospitality sector. Hotels are now developing their own selection of branded apps so that guests can enjoy an even greater level of connectivity and correspondence. Modern bundles offer features such as virtual payments, 360-degree tours of a room and immediate contact with a concierge.
Video: Smart Guest App
6. Voice Searches
The rise of home-based gadgets such as Alexa and Siri has illustrated that the mechanics behind basic voice searches have incredibly evolved during the past few years. Not only are more detailed answers provided, but it is much easier to employ these systems as a means to augment existing hotel technology. In a hands-free world, this actually makes a great deal of sense. Guests can now book reservations or immediately contact a hotel representative using dedicated voice-activated applications. This is quite beneficial while out and about. Voice technology is certainly set to replace more traditional options such as a static telephone number. In an era partially defined by electronic immediacy, it only stands to reason that voice searches have been included within this list.
Video: Example Voice Searches
Find more detailed information and examples about to apply voice searches in the hotel industry in the article “How Can Voice Control Benefit the Hotel Industry?”.
Chatbots and similar online widgets are now commonplace when visiting countless websites. In the same respect, they are beginning to revolutionise hotel technology and its associated amenities. These clever devices are set to offer guests a host of options. Some of those which are the most applicable within the hospitality industry include:
- Hyper-personalised search criteria and results
- A streamlined method for confirming a reservation
- An excellent way to build brand recognition and loyalty.
- Marketing relevant products and services to the end user
A final point to mention is that modern chatbots offer a language-agnostic edge. As they can detect and respond to numerous dialects, previous international barriers have been removed from the equation. This will lead to higher booking rates and an impressive return on investment (ROI).
Video: Example Hotel Chatbot
8. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
It can be argued that AI represents the most profound example of how hotel technology is advancing. This is due in no small part to the fact that its presence can be seen in the majority of systems mentioned above. The ultimate goal of artificial intelligence is to provide guests with a more seamless and streamlined experience during their stay. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished:
- Collating and interpreting guest data
- Mapping and identifying user preferences to create a tailor-made accommodation package
- More targeted and effective marketing techniques
- The ability to proactively determine the efficacy of a publicity campaign
- Personalising the entire guest experience
Artificial intelligence plays a profound role in hotel technology and this method has only recently entered into the mainstream marketplace. As its presence grows, it is fully reasonable for customers to expect a one-of-a-kind experience.
Video: The Impact of AI on improving hotel booking rates
Find more detailed information and examples about artificial intelligence use cases in the hotel industry in the article “How to use Artificial Intelligence in the Hotel Industry”.
9. Big Data
Big data represents one of the “catch phrases” of recent times, and for good reason. The ability to collect, interpret, disseminate, and react to this information is critical for hotels. This is particularly relevant for large properties that might cater to the needs of thousands of guests on a monthly basis. Through a combination of the data they gather themselves, and information available online, hotels can use big data to assist them with a revenue management strategy, identifying offers which might suit specific travellers or hotel guests or embracing the proper sales and marketing approaches.
Video: Example of Big Data and predictive analysis
Find more detailed information about the big data in the hotel industry in the article “5 Ways Big Data Can Help Those in the Hotel Industry”.
10. Virtual Reality (VR)
VR plays another important role; primarily in illustrating the amenities, services and rooms that a hotel has to offer. Virtual hotel tours/ 360 videos are a perfect example of this immersive trend. In fact, many professionals believe that this type of hotel technology is set to become compulsory in the not-so-distant future. The good news is that it is a cost-effective solution and virtual reality can be easily deployed within most scenarios.
Video: Pullman Brisbane King George Square Virtual Reality Hotel Tour
Find more detailed information and examples about how virtual reality can benefit your hotel in the article “How Virtual Reality (VR) can Enrich the Hotel Industry”.
11. Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality is intended to enhance the physical environment of the end user via devices such as smartphones and tablets. Some applications within the hotel sector include offering in-house interactive elements (such as maps and points of interest), providing a digital history of the property and supplying guests with relevant information when they are located within certain areas of the hotel (such as a menu if they happen to enter a restaurant).
Video: Example Augmented Reality Within the Hotel Industry
Find more detailed information and examples about how augmented reality can benefit your hotel in the article “How Augmented Reality is Transforming the Hotel Industry”.
There is no doubt that cutting-edge hotel technology is here to stay. These eleven examples should shed some light on what customers can expect in the coming months. Offering second-to-none levels of convenience and flexibility, hotels need to be able to embrace these innovative methods if they hope to maintain a competitive edge within an increasingly digital marketplace.