2016 has provided the hotel industry with significant advancements across the board in technology. Talk of Artificial Intelligence, robot butlers and the ever increasing use of mobile phones has powered what looks to be a continuing trend for years to come.
Some of the other major areas of technological focus include:
Conversational Interfaces (voice drive)
Today Steve Wynn announced he is installing an Amazon Echo in every single room of his Casino in Vegas by end of this year. The unit called Alexa will allow guests to have their own personal butler in every room . Imagine the possibility of talking to Alexa and asking it to open or close drapes, lower or raise the temperature, turn on the news , turn on the lights etc – the possibilities are endless. While prototypes using either Siri or Cortana have been trialled in Starwood and several other chains this announcement has moved the needle and I expect that now other high end casinos and hotels to follow suit.
Using technology to eliminate mundane processes or improve guest services is where robots can make a difference already we have a hotel in Japan HEN-naHotel that has an English speaking dinosaur receptionist and a talking tulip in every room . Hilton has Connie a concierge Robot that guest can ask questions of when they are in the lobby. Many other applications where robots can add value are being considered – housekeeping, delivering room service orders, picking up dirty room service trays left in the corridor to name a few.
As more guests use their smart phones to do everything then hotels need to embrace mobility in all areas both front and back of house with key less entry and mobile payments becoming mainstream.
Click the links below to view the best and most informative eHotelier articles from 2016 on Technology, Security and Sustainability. For all of these articles and more, download eHotelier’s 2016 Year in Review ebook.