Hospitality and Technology: A Perfect Match

The hospitality industry has existed for centuries. Businesses in the hospitality industry should begin to prepare for the future of technology.

Published on July 13, 2018

Imagine this: You are on vacation. You’re en route to your hotel when you receive a message from a bot named Nigel letting you know your room is ready. Nigel sends you a QR code that you can scan to unlock your room. When you get to the hotel, you can immediately walk up to your room, scan your phone, and settle in. Artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) will make checking in easier than ever before. Not only will checking in be easier, but room service and purchasing will be as well through AI and AR.

 

AI, AR and IoT

 

What are these technologies? According to the well-renowned analytics company SAS, AI is when machines learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks” and it relies “heavily on deep learning and natural language processing.” This smart technology allows for better pattern recognition and can make better predictions, providing more accuracy than human predictors.

 

While AI is a deeply integrated system, augmented reality merely glorifies reality by adding another dimension. Common examples of AR used everyday are Snapchat and Instagram filters. AR is also utilized during physical exams and surgical procedures to display patient information and doctor checklists on headsets. The future for AR entails that this technology will “gradually require less hardware and start being applied to things like contact lenses and virtual retinal displays.”

 

Both technologies fall under the canopy of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technology is connected through networks and systems rather hardwire. IoT provides better connectivity, stronger security and larger storage for data. An estimated $6 billion will be invested into these solutions and 24 billion devices will exist by the year 2020.

 

Shift in Hospitality Industry

 

What does this mean for the hospitality industry as a whole? A study conducted by Gartner last year suggested that by the year 2020, one in five workers will rely on AI to complete day-to-day tasks. The largest concern of implementing these technologies is the prevalence of positions. The study claims that AI will be used as a tool, not as a replacement for humans. Rest assured, concierge, front desk and kitchen staff positions will be around. Customers still confide in other people and prefer to discuss matters face-to-face rather than to a bot. Through AI and AR, the customer/employee experience will shift towards one of efficiency and ease.