Monday, July 27, 2015

Wearable Technology For Hotels


It is very clear how technology is becoming more pervasive in our everyday lives. The advent of wearable technology has brought digital devices down to an even more personal level. Although nearly everyone has a smartphone, by being worn on the body, wearables actually take technology to a new level of personal interaction. And since travel is an extremely personal experience, hospitality and wearable technology are a natural pairing.

Recently, naysayers have been reporting the falling sales of the Apple Watch, however this not any indication of the growth potential for wearable technology going forward. Early adopters have bought-in initially, and in time the public at large will buy-in as well. Whether it’s with the Apple Watch, Google Glass, Pebble, or some other device, wearables are undeniably the future. As time progresses and millennial travelers who are most excited about these technologies come into their prime traveling age, hotel implementation of wearable technology will become the expected norm, rather than a nice feature.

Being that wearable technology is a given in the hospitality industry’s future, there are a number of ways in which these developments can best be leveraged by hotels. Likewise, closely integrated with these devices is mobile pay technology, which gives users the ability to pay with merely the swipe of a phone, tablet, or smart watch for example.

A number of hotels are utilizing wearable technology to empower their guests to put away their wallets and keys while staying at the property. Wearable devices can be used to perform common hotel functions such as unlock guest room doors and pay for food & beverages or hotel services, or even check-in and out. Guests can also be enabled to see details of their reservation, view loyalty points status, or get directions.

Wearable technology can also go beyond guest usage and be guest facing, empowering hotel staff as well. Both front desk personnel and concierges can provide enhanced levels of customer service through the use of Google Glass. Facial recognition technology inherit in these devices allows staff to individualize the attention given hotel customers. For example, concierges can deliver truly personalized travel experiences tailored to the tastes of their guests.

Additionally, wellness programs can also be complemented with wearables. Bracelets, which monitor guest sleeping patterns, can be distributed to customers to assist them in optimizing their sleep time. These same bracelets can also be used for functions that can be filled by the Apple Watch as well.

In time wearable technology will become as ubiquitous as the smartphone. Its adoption by the hospitality industry can only improve the travel experiences of all hotel guests, while streamlining many hotel operations. 

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