Smart hotel technology is currently a crucial technological trend in the hospitality industry. It is designed with the capacity to benefit both the guest and the hotel owner by potentially improving the customer experience by making their stay better and easier.
Smart hotel technology has the potential to improve financial results within the industry.
Modern guests are more interested in acquiring a personalized and smooth experience for business or pleasure during their travels.
Guests are more than 13% likely to book another stay at a hotel if they feel like the Hotel understands their needs.
Most hotel guests are interested in experiencing new technology and may be willing to overlook the absence of standard amenities like fitness or business centers.
This article discusses everything you need to know about smart hotels, the latest innovations, the future of smart technology in the hospitality industry, and some examples of smart hotels.
What is A Smart Hotel
A smart hotel uses modern technology like internet-connected devices for the mutual benefit of guests and hoteliers.
Hoteliers are adopting smart check-in services like facial recognition, smart lighting, holographic technology, robot concierges, voice recognition technology, Chatbots, and smart amenities.
The technology in internet-connected devices is the Internet of Things (IoT) which means that ordinary appliances/devices can receive and send data, thus “smart.”
Hoteliers and guests can operate these devices from a central control point-like, like a smartphone, smart speaker, or remote control.
The hospitality industry is attempting to meet the digital expectations of guests now more than ever hence the significant increase in smart hotels.
So Why Should Every Hotel Become a Smart Hotel
Major world-renowned hotel brands like Marriott and Hilton quickly took up smart room technology because of its benefits.
In hindsight, every hotelier should prioritize smart technology by transforming their Hotel into a smart hotel. Becoming a smart hotel saves money, ensures a seamless customer experience, and makes life much easier for staff.
When hotel guests live in a smart room, they can control several room components to fit their tastes and preferences.
That makes customer service more efficient, faster, and more manageable. Guests find it easier to acquire information, and hoteliers can save on operational costs.
Five Examples of Smart Hotels
These hotels have innovative features like smart TVs, augmented reality, intelligent lighting, Alex-controlled lighting, and heating.
Some hotels operate with minimal, innovative food ordering apps or ambient lighting, while others have more advanced technology like robots and reality-powered maps.
Hub by Premier Inn
Located in London, this hotel chain opened in 2015. It offers basic innovative technology like a mobile application that simplifies the check-in process making it shorter, offers controls for both heating and lighting, and an alternative glass touch panel within the room where you can access the same functionality.
An augmented reality map offers an interactive map of the things to do and attractions to see during your stay in the area.
The most exciting smart technology feature at Yotel is the Robot. It is a 20 feet long arm that handles the guest bags and keeps them in compartments until retrieval.
Yobot manages the Hotel’s luggage storage system all by itself. Other exciting features include beds that can transform into futons at the push of a button and a 30-minute-sleep-inducing video that you can play on the Hotel’s TV screens.
Yotel is located in New York and is one of the best.
Aloft Cupertino in California is located across town from the Apple headquarters. Encounter Botlr, a 24-hour room service delivery robotic butler who can deliver everything from essentials like towels, toothbrushes, snacks, and adapters.
Botlr is a 3ft talk with a two cubic feet storage compartment and does not need any human help to make deliveries.
Located in London, Eccleston Square hotel brings the old and the new together by adding a control system in the form of an iPad.
It can be used to order room service, control lighting, heating, and music, and contact the concierge. In addition, the Hotel offers other intelligent features like instant frosting glass, a 46-inch television, and a smartphone that provides free calls and unlimited data for the duration of a guest’s stay.
i Hotel by 1688 Inn
The i hotel is located in Taoyuan, Taiwan. It offers two high-end gaming PCs in each room with gaming mice, 32-inch monitors, keyboards, and a 46-inch television.
It also has a purpose-built 12-seater gaming room arena for both gamers and guests to play.
Latest Innovations in the Hotel Industry
The hotel industry is continuously innovating technology to satisfy the needs of its customers. Here are some of the latest innovations.
So as to improve front desk check-in efficiency, some hotels are resorting to facial recognition scans to help guests get a faster transition to their guest rooms.
Guests only have to approach a kiosk, scan their faces to verify their identity, and scan their identity cards to access their room key. Facial recognition reduces check-in time by more than two minutes.
Robots like Botlr by Aloft Hotels can play several roles in a hotel. They can make deliveries, help with luggage, and help with other tasks around the clock.
However, hoteliers should be careful not to replace their human staff with robots completely; they cannot entirely replace human service.
Hotel guests no longer have to wait at the front desk to access important information. Instead, chatbots make it possible to access information instantly by responding to messages in the shortest period.
Some of the Hotels that use this innovation include The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas, and Four Seasons Hotels.
Future of Smart Technology in the Hospitality Industry
A massive evolution in the hospitality industry has been seen in the past five years due to a new generation of travelers. That has led to hoteliers increasingly looking for technological solutions to improve guest experiences.
There have been impressive breakthroughs in contactless technologies that facilitate and ensure guest satisfaction.
Smart technology has proved essential in the hospitality industry, thus leaner operations in hotels worldwide.
Many more hotels are looking to adapt to smart technology since it improves guest experiences, is more sustainable, and affords them a chance at cost savings.
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Pearce Kibaale is a freelance writer, content creator, and Editor-in-Chief of Trip Dhow.