Every year, new hotel and travel technologies are born to amaze both guests and hoteliers. The birth of keyless entry has encouraged many companies to invest more time and energy in creating more innovative technology for the hospitality and travel industry. The following are the newest technology trends in 2015.
1. Apple Watch
Apple Watch was first introduced to the public in September 2014. It instantly started a buzz that rippled all over the Internet.
This year, Starwood has finally integrated their keyless app on the Apple Watch. With the help of Bluetooth, not only will guests be able to use Apple Watch as a key to their room, Starwood also made sure that guests can conveniently check in with it without the hassle of filling out forms or making phone calls.
Marriott, on the other hand, announced a new feature – the Apple Pay. This technology lets guests pay on the front desk simply by bringing their Apple Watch (or any other Apple device) near a contact-less reader. Marriott is the first hotel to release this feature and it will be available in different locations in the US.
Just recently, Accor announced their app, the Accorhotel Apple Watch app which is designed to work with smartphones in order to make reservations and get access to hotel information as well as property maps. This app also notifies guests when a room is available for online check-in.
IHG is also one of the hotel chains who joined in the buzz. Its Apple Watch app has the ability to translate words in 13 different languages, as well as help its user with common phrases.
Uber and Expedia are some of the travel companies that have also made adjustments to maximize the benefits that the watch offers.
Right now, we’re still waiting to actually experience Apple Watch in the hospitality industry. Although the number of hotels with this technology is currently limited, we can be sure that many more will eventually install this feature.
2. Social Hotel Booking
This idea started in 2013 when hotels started allowing their fans to book a hotel room through Facebook. Their goal is to lessen the time it takes for their guests to book a room. Shortly after, hoteliers started inviting their guests to book through Twitter. Since then, many companies created different applications to cater the feature on mobile phones.
During the first quarter of 2013, almost half of global hotels who participated in a survey admitted that they are using social media as a booking engine.
This year, Like2Buy made social hotel booking reach a whole new level. Conrad Hotels has just recently announced their new feature – booking through their Instagram profile, with the help of Like2Buy Technology.
3. Robot Receptionists
This new technology will be implemented in a Japanese hotel called Henn-na Hotel (which means “strange hotel”). The robots look like real humans that you will have goosebumps when you meet them. These hotel receptionists not only look human, but also talk like one. They are designed to be able to have an “intelligent conversation”, too.
Let’s see how guests will react to these robots when the hotel opens in July.
4. GPS – booking
Now this will make mobile booking an old technology. According to Washington Post, General Motors is adding a new and exciting feature on their OnStar GPS program they named “AtYourService”.
This is a paid subscription for drivers. The feature includes the ability to search for nearby hotels through a car’s GPS and then book it with the help of Priceline.com. Not only will your car be able to find and book a hotel for you, it can also direct you there.
Also called “Hotel Robots”, these types of robots are different from the Robot Receptionists we mentioned earlier. (By the way, Henn-na Hotel will have Botlrs, too.)
If you have visited Aloft Cupertino in California recently, then you must have met these robot servants that do simple chores like cleaning, or delivering snacks or small amenities to your door.
This robot is powered by WiFi, uses a mapping system to navigate through the hotel, and a camera to avoid bumping into people. After the request has been delivered, guests can leave a review using the Botlr. If it is a positive review, the Botlr will dance. Isn’t it fun?