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OK, Computer: The tech transforming the guest experience

Hotels are employing emerging digital tools to engage with their customers on new levels.

OK, Computer: The tech transforming the guest experience

As the travel industry focuses further attention on experiences, recent developments in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning offer unprecedented opportunities. The benefits are manifold.Outsourcing work previously done by humans can free up staff to deal with more complex tasks, while automation helps streamline operations and enhance customer service.

 

Integrated tech at the Arrive Palm Springs

Co-conceived by Facebook’s first product manager, Ezra Callahan, the newly opened Arrive Palm Springs was designed with today’s tech-obsessed traveller in mind. As with any self-respecting contemporary boutique hotel, there’s no reception desk; guests instead check in at the bar while sipping on a complimentary cocktail. Despite a mid-century modern design aesthetic, technology is tactfully integrated across the board, with text message being the primary mode of communication between guests and staff. The concept is backed by a singularly Silicon Valley mindset that aims to digitally optimise operations and the guest experience.

 

Arrive_Hotel_Bar_Checkin

Credit: The hotel bar/front desk at Arrive hotel in Palm Springs // Header: Four points concept by Starwoods

 

Amazon Echo at the Wynn Las Vegas

Amazon’s voice-operated personal assistance, Echo, has been making waves since it first appeared on the scene back in 2014. Since then, the technology has come on leaps and bounds and is today one of the leading AI-powered PA bots on the market - thanks in no small part to Amazon’s market domination and customer service prowess. At the end of 2016, the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas announced plans to equip all of its 4,748 with the latest iteration of Echo, making it the world’s first resort where guests can verbally control every facet of their room, from lighting and temperature to audio-visual aspects. Due for rollout in summer 2017, the initiative will eventually also include more general personal assistant capabilities.

 

Amazon_Echo

 Credit: Amazon

 

Radisson Blu Edwardian’s Virtual Host

The Radisson Blu Edwardian group oversees 12 hotels across London. Nicknamed Edward, its new chatbot, also launched mid-2016, responds to simple guest requests and questions via text message. Integrated with the hotels’ management platform to facilitate seamless responses, Edward can arrange room service, provide about local bars and restaurants and even field complaints. The technology is developed by Aspect and employs natural language understanding (NLU) and represents a radical new direction for the brand in terms of customer engagement.

 

Edwardian_chatbot

Credit: Radisson Blu

 

Hilton’s Robot Concierge

Named after the global hotel chain’s founder Conrad Hilton, Connie is a robotic concierge powered by IBM Watson. Debuting at the Hilton McLean in Virginia in mid-2016, Connie works alongside humans to provide guests with information and assistance and is able to answer questions about the hotel’s amenities, as well as suggest things to do nearby. What’s more, the technology can learn over time, so Connie’s efficiency and accuracy is constantly improving. And unlike a human concierge, the robot’s interactions are stored and can be analysed to further improve the guest experience.

 

 

Credit: IBM Watson 

16 / 03 / 2017 // by LigaStudios Team

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