Forbes India – Technology, hospitality: facial recognition, virtual reality and cryptocurrency: how the hotel experience is changing

In 2022, we will not open hotel room doors with a plastic key card but rather our fingerprints.
Image: WAYHOME Studio / Shutterstock

Oith the aim of improving guest comfort during their stays and offering them peace of mind on hygiene thanks to contactless exchanges, after nearly two years of disruption due to the pandemic, the The hospitality industry is banking on new technologies in hopes of offering a more personalized experience to travellers. For future vacations, you should expect facial recognition, virtual reality, smartphone check-in, and cryptocurrency payment to be part of your hotel stay.

Open your hotel room door using facial recognition

Forget the plastic keys similar to credit cards that you are used to receiving at the reception of a hotel to enter your room. According to EHL, one of the leading hotel education groups, the digital reinvention of the guest experience will be one of the big trends in 2022. The first Swiss university of the hotel industry urges hoteliers to set up facial recognition in their establishments, for the simple reason that travelers have become accustomed to using this technology with their smartphones. According to another report, published by Open Geeks Lab, the facial recognition market is expected to grow by 15.4% per year between 2021 and 2028. Similarly, some people prefer to unlock their mobile phone using their fingerprint. So why wouldn’t we have the same options for opening our hotel room door?

Choose a hotel using virtual reality

What if you could select the hotel for your next trip not by scrolling through simple photos but by virtually browsing your potential room? Widely deployed in the real estate sector, this technology should be deployed by a growing number of hotels next year. And that makes sense since psychologically the travel experience begins from the very first moments of the process of finding our next trip. According to the Lausanne hotel school, augmented reality will also help travelers to project themselves into the holiday space and thus facilitate the realization of dreams of escape to distant destinations.

A host of new gadgets in your room

Wireless support for recharging your smartphone, instant access to the concierge via video link, control of the TV or lights via voice recognition… If hotels are following in the footsteps of the trend to offer all these new technologies in their rooms , you might feel like you’re in Tony Stark’s world. Equipping rooms with such technology will make life easier for guests, reports Open Geeks Lab, a Ukrainian company specializing in the creation of mobile applications.

Contactless check-in via smartphone

Given recommendations from health authorities to reduce contact during the pandemic, hoteliers could even cut reception – or at least check-in for guests upon arrival – in the long term. Several mobile applications, such as Octorate and Sabee App, have already been developed to allow guests to check in and obtain a digital key for their room.

Pay the bill with cryptocurrency

In Barcelona, ​​PortAventura has embarked on the crypto movement, as have reservation giants Booking and Expedia as well as hotel network Pavilion Hotels & Resort. Bitcoins, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies will become a staple in the digital wallet of connected travellers. A travel revolution is on the horizon when it comes to payments. Airlines like AirBaltic and LOT Polish Airlines are already adopting this payment method. Establishments that ignore this new trend could miss out on a post-Covid return to the sphere of ultra-competitive tourism.

Optimize data for a more personalized experience

Sharing your personal data isn’t so bad. In the hospitality industry, at least, establishments could use it in innovative ways to improve guest stays, rather than just bombarding them with promotional emails. According to Open Geeks Lab, collecting guest preferences when staying in a hotel could ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and loyalty. For example, indicating your preferences regarding the temperature of the room or the time at which you have your breakfast could make your stay more fluid.

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