Hotelier 3.0: “Dear Santa…”
Is it that time of the year already? I hope everyone feels festive and that your hotel gets full as fast as your smartphone.
We all know that technology gets smaller, faster and far more powerful every day. Sometimes we forget that it also becomes cheaper! A 400 Giga drive cost me £150 two years ago and last week my nephew sent me a 500 Giga drive that cost him half that much and most importantly is about five-times smaller than my old hard drive!
Hoteliers find that technology that was beyond their budgets yesterday is very much within their budgets today. How hoteliers that choose to use such technology can greatly affect the consumer experience, staff loyalty and retention.
It is not just about the technology itself, but more about how it is used by your people. It is also about how fast trends in the use of technology can appear and disappear.
Last year we were discussing the lip dub marketing efforts of hotels and today we are talking about the capabilities of 3D Video mapping projections. If you have not seen what can be done with this technology then have a look at this video of the House Hotel in Istanbul.
Today we may be talking about the future of QR codes or bar codes or even augmented reality, but if you really combine all of it together it does not take much effort to see that the future hotel consumer may enjoy technology that a few years ago was mere science fiction.
If hard drives get better storage capabilities, and projectors can do 3D on 2D surfaces, and smartphones get smarter, and all three get smaller and cheaper, then why can’t I combine them to get something like this:
Imagine what will happen to mobile apps if you can project your mobile screen to any surface. Yes that’s right: hotel apps could become obsolete!
And if I actually can have such interactive technology in my mobile today why does it have to be my mobile? Why can’t I soon have all this technology in my glasses? In my pen? In my watch?
How long before I am able to truly enhance guest experiences with augmented reality? Does it mean I won’t have to charge less for my non-sea-view rooms any more? Well, I better stop here before I lose myself in the possibilities!
Having said all of the above, my Hotelier 3.0 letter to Dear Santa this year will have nothing to do with the future; it will simply ask for hoteliers in the UK to realise that not offering free wi-fi in their hotels is not increasing their profitability – it is damaging their brand.
If as an industry we get the basics right, maybe we can catch up and enjoy the benefits technology truly has to offer.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
By Ioannis S. Pantelidis