Technology seems to impact our lives in almost every way imaginable, and many industries are extremely dependent on technology. The hospitality industry is now incorporating new and impressive forms of technology into their day-to-day operations which help them save money, streamline their services, and offer their customers a better experience. From putting in smart television sets into rooms to coding a virtual concierge app, hotels are now using technology like never before. Here are ten piece of hotel technology that are changing the business.
10. Tablet and Mobile Computers
While tablets and mobile computers are not new, they are being used by more and more hotels now. Hotels can replace their front desk computers with more efficient mobile computers, and staff members can be given a personal tablet to assist them with their jobs. For example, the cleaning staff can use a tablet to accurately and precisely map out and log which rooms have been cleaned and which need to be cleaned. Additionally hotels are starting to offer computer and tablet rental services for guests that need to work on the go.
9. Mobile Applications
Most people have smartphones these days, and it's crucial for hotels to develop mobile applications so they can reach their guests via phones. Hotels are using mobile applications as a streamlined service for guests that want to reserve rooms, call up room service, and just generally interact and do more with hotels through their cellphones. Travelers will most likely be using a smartphone or tablet often, which is why hotels are working to improve their mobile applications and corporate new features into these apps.
8. Wearable Technology
Wearables are one of the newest forms of technology on the rise, and they could prove to be beneficial within the hospitality industry. I have a smartwatch and when I travel it displays my airplane tickets, the gate times, and how much time I need to travel to stay on-time. This technology is invaluable for hotels as well. Additionally hotel resorts can use smart wristbands implanted with a small NFC chip, for example, that guests can use as their passes to get into restaurants, the spa, and more. So essentially a waiter can just scan your wristband and your bill will just be included when you checkout.
7. Virtual Concierge Services
Virtual concierge services, typically offered through an application or online, are another invaluable form of technology. Guests can use their computers or phones to make concierge requests in a streamlined manner. This also allows the actual concierge team to better manage and handle said requests.
6. Cloud Services
Cloud-based computing used as a service is another popular hotel technology that's changing the business. Instead of having physical documents or hard drives and servers on-site, hotels can use various cloud services to house all their data. From guest logs, billing data, and much more, cloud service benefit hotels in a variety of different ways and we are seeing nearly all hotels convert to an all could-based system.
5. Smart "Keys"
Physical hotel keys, as we know them, will soon be a thing of the past. Hotels are now incorporating a range of new technologies to allow them to go "keyless". For example, some Starwood Hotels have a new system where guests access their "key" from their smartphone. They just hold their phone up to a scanner on the lock, and boom, the door unlocks. This technology is more advanced than physical keys, you probably will never loose the key since it's in your phone, and it helps save money in the long run. Other hotels are also looking into using facial recognition software to open up guest room doors.
4. Social Media
Understanding how to use social media and how to engage with followers is something that is just finally being understood, and it's another important technology for hotels. Not only does a hotel look non-legitimate if they don't have a Facebook page, for example, it makes it harder for guests to interact with the property managers. Hotels are now using all outlets of social media to reach new customers, engage with guests, get feedback, and promote their properties. As it turns out, Instagram and Twitter are actually kind of important for work, they aren't just time wasters!
3. High-Tech Equipment for Hotel Lobbies and Meeting Rooms
Hotels are completely transforming their lobbies from just a luxurious entrance with sofas into an advanced media hub. Even more affordable hotels will have free WiFi, open computers, multiple television sets, power outlets, and more in their lobby. This trend is also impacting the meeting rooms of hotels as well. Meeting rooms are being outfitted with free-to-use projectors, smart television sets, conference phones, and free access to the internet, allowing guests to easily host a business meeting without stress in their hotel, for example.
2. Personalized Rooms with Smart Appliances
The hotel rooms of the future, based on current trends, will be completely personalized and fully equipped with smart appliances. Technology platforms like Nest will allow the hotel room to fully adapt to a guests specific needs. For example, it can be set to run the air-conditioning system while your in the room and then detect when you leave, turning itself off to save money. The same can be applied for the lights. This can also be used for things like ambient lighting, and we are already seeing hotels incorporate these technologies. Hotels are also adding more smart appliances to rooms like smart television sets, intelligent coffee machines, and multi-media hubs that replace the conventional phone and radio found in hotels.
1. Robotic Staff
A hotel with robotic staff is not just something from a science fiction movie, it's a reality. The Henn Na Hotel in Japan is the world's first hotel with essentially an all-robotic staff. From the animatronic front desk clerks to the small drones that will transport your bags to your room, the robot hotels of the future already exist. We will see how having a robot staff pans out in the long run, but it's safe to imagine that hotels will use more robots and drones in the future, as they are already doing so today. Perhaps your room service is brought up by a small robot? Who knows.