“What drives and moves the world are not machines, but ideas”. This thought of Victor Hugo, famous author of Les Miserables, encapsulates the importance of the thought behind an action leading to innovation.
This approach can also be applied in the accommodation world. That is why there are already new systems and tools knocking on the door of this sector, such as drones or virtual reality platforms, among others.
Hotelsnewsnow examines this issue with the help of two specialists: Ian Miller, professor of Information and Technology at the Lausanne catering college and Richard Lewis, from the best Western Hotel Chain. They both agree that there is a lot of expectation surrounding the implementation of the following technology:
1) Directional sound. These are speakers that can be heard by only one user, excluding others who are nearby. In other words, three people on the same sofa can listen to three different songs with no interference. For Miller, this application could be very useful in areas of a hotel such as the gym. It is also considered as another step toward service personalization. However, he also wonders if this musical proposal will imply increased taxes due to the playback of more tracks.
2) Virtual reality. This section includes Google Glass and the Occulus Rift that will be launched this coming summer. What the two types of glasses are attempting is to take virtual hotel tours to a new level. According to Miller, their success and consolidation depends on their also being well accepted by the gaming industry, as this will multiply their impact.
3) Drones. The new generation of these devices allows users to make high quality recordings (4K). This opens up various marketing opportunities. In fact, some restaurants are using drones for their home deliveries. It’s not a massive leap of the imagination to see one of these gadgets delivering a toothbrush to a client in their hotel room. The challenges of their use are mainly two: security and the permissions needed to use them legally.
4) The Internet of things. All electronic devices will be interconnected and generate information regarding their users. This is what The Internet of things is all about. It can be a great help for hoteliers looking to boost their client’s experiences. As in the case of drones, security is the greatest issue. According to Miller’s viewpoint, a good starting point for all this apparatus of connections requires a great investment to protect (encrypt) the data.
5) 3D printers. Nobody can dispute their usefulness, especially when it comes to reproducing client’s lost objects in 30 minutes. But there are some disadvantages, as not everything can be replicated. Richard Lewis, executive director of Western Hotels, confirms this sense of caution when it comes to these printers. “ I don’t think any client is willing to wait half an hour for a replica as something as simple as a toothbrush, however I see certain uses for specific objects like old door handles”, he assures.
6) Li-Fi, the 100 times faster alternative to Wi-Fi. Li-Fi is an abbreviation of Light Fidelity, it is communication between visible lights, yes, you read that right. This light transmits ultra rapid light data that is received by an optical router. The project is still in its developmental stage but it has been suggested that this connection could be up to ten times cheaper than Wi-Fi.
It has been proved yet again that innovation never rests and it never stops. If anything, it is constantly gaining momentum for the next step forward. We just need to see how these six technological advances are received by the industry. At Idiso and Innwise, as companies dedicated to the hotel sector, we will remain alert and keep you updated.