Without doubt, technology can enhance comfort and provide greater guest experience in hotels. Many hotels – which strive to bring more convenience and novelty to their guests – reported facing strong pressure to install innovative devices.
Recently 3D televisions penetrate the hotel industry. However, many hotels – particularly independent ones – are still reluctant to make such investment. Offering high-speed wireless Internet is no longer enough to satisfy customers.
Many hotels are actively deploying native mobile applications. This is the case, for example, of Holiday Inn and its innovation made possible thanks to NFC (near-field communication) technology. Their app allows sending an encrypted message to the customer via his smartphone. When the latter receives a message informing him that his room is ready. He also obtains the signal that he can unlock the door of his room without having to go through the reception.
The broader adoption of Internet tablets and more particularly, the iPad has generated a real enthusiasm from consumers. Many hoteliers are now exploiting this opportunity. Many put at the disposal of their customers’ tablets to rent. Some go even further by integrating applications that offer concierge services or by providing guests with a virtual menu of the hotel bar/ restaurant.
In the same vein, it is expected that QR codes, already certified by the Transport Security Administration (TSA) as electronic boarding passes, will play an increasing role in the hotel industry, both for customer registration and marketing and security purposes.
As for phones in rooms, they are gradually being replaced by IP phones. Which offer much more than their primary function. Some models allow you to read emails, check news and weather or select a room service option.
Biometrics-related technologies also seem very promising. They play a role in identifying the person, thanks in particular to the fingerprint or iris recognition. Biometrics offers the possibility of accelerating the customer registration process, avoiding the use of room keys and providing an entirely secure environment.
In terms of security, some hotels have set up systems to meet specific customer needs. Some hotels offer a tool for monitoring children when they approach a risk area such as the pool; to immediately inform parents.
New technological options are emerging so quickly that they often become obsolete before their full implementation in the industry. Many managers satisfy themselves with a minimalist option, by fear of choosing the wrong technology.
For them, the status quo, less risky, seems an acceptable solution. However, taking the time to evaluate new avenues is worthwhile, even when they are expensive, as they may later prove.