We live in an on-demand world, where customers want access to information and conveniences immediately. While there are plenty of examples of technology that can provide instant gratification, few are more prevalent than those we see in the hospitality industry. After all, hospitality must accommodate business and personal travelers alike, ensuring outstanding experiences and meeting the varying needs of the executive who demands high-speed internet with the vacationer who wants convenience. Fortunately, we are in a time when all this and more are possible.
Meet the ‘Botlr’
Starwood recently rolled out two robotic “Botlrs” in its Cupertino Aloft Hotel. The three-foot-tall robots have giant empty compartments for delivering items and include seven-inch touch screens for guest interactions. These robotic butlers can do everything from delivering towels and food to guests to assisting staff with back office duties.
The idea behind the Botlrs is to perform the more routine tasks, freeing up staff members to handle more complex items. The robots have their own elevators and through the use of Wi-Fi connections can navigate the hotel without getting in the way.
The response has been so positive that Starwood is planning a larger rollout later in 2015. Soon you’ll get your extra towels delivered by a robotic butler who always says thank you!
Forgot Your Key Card? Use Your Phone!
Hilton and Starwood have developed an app that lets guests use their cell phones to unlock their rooms. This service provides great convenience and alleviates the need to carry a key card, or more likely, forget the keycard and have to get a new one from the front desk. Hilton’s app will also allow guests to access various areas of their properties, such as the fitness center, executive floors, elevators and parking facilities.
The apps will also work on other devices, such as the Apple Watch, making it even easier for guests to “remember” their keys.
The Next Generation of Communication
Recently NEC’s Global Hospitality Team was featured in the Frost & Sullivan Digital Transformation blog, where we discussed our global hospitality footprint. Some of the highlights include:
- Hotels are moving toward IP voice systems, particularly in new-build facilities, in order to maximize technology in areas such as voice, entertainment, security and environmental controls.
- Unified Communications significantly enhances workflow productivity while improving the guest experience.
- By adapting delivery models, NEC has created a solution for hotels that meets the demand for OPEX pricing, while accommodating security needs and legacy systems currently in these hotels.
You can learn more about trends in hospitality technology and NEC’s solutions by visiting us at HITEC 2015 in booth #1437, or by visiting our Hospitality Solutions page on our web site.