Hotel design and technology that’s not as far in the future as you may think.
The shifts in consumer wants, needs, and attention are what spearhead change in the hospitality industry. Depending on the demographic, those need, wants, and attentions differ. The advances in technology have streamlined one need across all types of customers – the desire for customization and personalization. Enter, the smart hotel. The smart hotel doesn’t necessarily involve a universal remote than you can’t figure out how to use to turn on the lights (though it make include real-life robots). Instead, it’s about the real time data, and leveraging that data to provide an intimate and unique experience to your customers with the value and luxury that they can’t get from renting someone’s room.
In Nagasaki, Japan, guests enter the Henn-na Hotel and are greeted and checked-in by robots. Guests can choose between a female robot that speaks Japanese or a dinosaur robot that speaks English. Though we’re not entirely sure why the English speaker is deemed a dinosaur, the replacement of real people with robots, and essentially computers, to make that initial greeting with a customer is one to take note of.
And you don’t have to travel to Japan to interact with robots. The Yotel in New York has a “Yobot” to handle luggage storage, while the Aloft Cupertino in California has a “Botlr” who will deliver towels to you at the pool, and snacks and toiletries to your room. The presence of robots to replace employees for routine and standardized tasks implies you’ll see more robots in the hotel industry’s future.
Though virtual reality (VR) is mostly seen as B2B play at the current point in its evolution, hotel conglomerates have already started testing out how to leverage VR in their hotels. The Charlotte Marriott City Center created the M-beta hotel, which offers the newest in customer experience technology, from keyless entry upon arrival to digital experiences in the fitness studio. The entire hotel offers different prototypes, inviting guests to test out and provide feedback to ultimately determine the best use for VR in their future hotel experience.
And Marriott isn’t stopping there. In certain Marriott International hotels, in partnership with Samsung Electronics America, guests can request Samsung Gear VR headsets to use in their rooms for 24 hours. How VR will be leveraged in the hospitality industry in the future may largely stem from the feedback received from the Marriott’s beta tests.
Smart room keys
Hotels are increasingly leveraging innovative ways to grant guests access to their hotel rooms. First it was a real key, then it was a smart card, and now it’s moving towards keyless pads and biometric scanners. Nine Zero Hotel in Boston has iris scan systems installed in place of key cards to grant access to the hotel’s presidential suite and the Alma Barcelona has guests use their fingerprints to access their rooms, rather than keys. Almost as cool as Mission Impossible, but hopefully without the fear of bad guys. Though it’s certainly smart technology, the hospitality industry will have to tread lightly into the security implications that come from storing guests fingerprints and irises, should this tech continue to evolve.
Of course, with smart mirrors, voice-controlled amenities, and future innovations being deployed in hotels, furniture design and manufacturing should evolve with these shifts in processes. Should these technologies become commonplace, hotels will be required to develop and update furniture to work alongside the technology to create one unified look and feel.
And that’s where we come in. Our team at Beachwood Custom is focused on designing high quality furnishings that are distinguished in quality and style while staying aligned with today’s trends and customer needs. We take the latest trends in technology into account so you don’t have to. Learn more about how we can help make your next hotel a great success by contacting us today.