Technology and the upgrade are forging the improvisations of many industries nowadays and hospitality is not different. The host and guest mutual interaction seek to deliver and get the best services in the most hassle-free ways and when it comes to augmented reality it works in enhancing the experience and satisfaction of the customers.
Brief About Hospitality Industry
Hospitality is basically an umbrella term for multiple guests and host-based services like hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, theme parks, etc. The prime concern of this industry is the best customer experience while providing their services. The services can include stays of different kinds with the necessary services promised, food and beverages with recreation activities (gaming and entertainment, etc.) in some cases.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality or AR is an interactive experience or enhanced version of the real world to be presented in a more understandable way with the help of computerized tools. This is done with the use of digital tools like - animations, graphics, sounds, etc. to be able to create an amalgamation of the real and the virtual worlds to be able to get a detailed view of what is present or the necessary information related to it which is put on.
At most augmented reality-based information can be accessed via smartphones and internet-based devices. This can be done via scanning a barcode printed on real-life items to get an artificial view of them or by applications specially crafted for specific purposes.
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Augmented Reality and Hospitality Industry
Now technological upgrades are time-consuming and this is a dynamic and time taking process. The Hospitality Industry goes on to implement it correctly, this can open up various opportunities for a better and smooth customer experience. Not just for the guests, this can be a tool of a better handling process for the hosts as well.
Augmented reality can be used by hotels to enhance the physical surroundings by making them more interactive.
They can enhance their rooms’ experience and the surrounding area. Also augmented reality-based interfaces are capable of providing a lot of information to the guests or to the staff that they might need, this makes the process as easy as pointing the camera to a real thing which might then connect to the related server to fetch the required information.
Also as things pace up with digitalization and this generation seeks quick and efficient yet reliable methods such advanced learning methods can be a savior for the huge and versatile hospitality industry in performing different functions.
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Uses of AR in Hospitality
1. Interactive Hotel Rooms
The hotel rooms can be more interactive by the hotel owners using the augmented reality features and techniques. The stay rooms can have a 3-dimensional display feature on the portal so that the visitors can have a look at them in a realistic way while they are booking a room or seeking to grab a service.
Not just this, it can also be used to make the customers have a detailed view of the surroundings of the hotels which is obviously shot by a camera and there is extended information provided to them for further detailing enabling them in better choices and decision making by having a 360 degrees virtual tour before being physically present.
2. Map Features
Augmented reality works by adding the made-up features to the real images that exist in the form of information. Hotels and resorts around the tourist hub can have this feature where the visitors can point their smartphones to a map to get a view of the other places of interest and their timings with other details nearby.
This can be simply done by using the applications and portals which work by granting connectivity and access. This map feature fused with augmented reality is not just going to make the maps more reliable and informative but will make the visits more convenient and informative for the customers.
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The hotels can enable augmented reality-based games in their premises to keep the visitors engaged and entertained throughout. There are games like PokemonGo which have taken the best use of features of augmented reality.
Hotels can engage in games like treasure hunts by taking them to a virtual platform, improvising the features as per their discretion which can be played on their premises. This can be done by using multiple technologies as IoT-based games are trendy and adding this to their complementary services for their guests which is fun and rather entertaining.
4. Beacon Technology
Beacon Technology works by the Bluetooth-based interface somehow connected to the concept of augmented reality which allows the people operating to send related information when the users are in specific locations.
This technology is predominantly being used in the hospitality industry to make the people exploring the premises have various wireless connectivity opportunities using their smartphones only.
This technology can be used to access the right maps at the right time and even the emergency alerts and rescue plan-based guidelines in the case of any mishap in the surroundings, they can be guided off the exit gates while being thoroughly connected to the management staff.
Uses of AR in Hospitality
5. Guest Recognition
Every guest is important to the business. However, depending upon the services liked and preferences some guests are loyal and they tend to repeat their stays on multiple occasions. In such a scenario, guest recognition can become the catalyst in providing relatively better and convenient services to them.
Augmented reality-based applications can help in getting details about the guest and their preferences and choices. IoT based cameras can be used in connectivity with the AR setup working by providing the details about the guest and their previous stays, the services they took, room preferences, food preferences, etc.
As the image of the guest gets pointed out the details can pop up. This will help in generating a personalized experience for the guest as well as make the process of allotment convenient for the staff.
6. Maintenance Information
If the hotels and restaurants go on to make their application the users (or the repeated users) can get information in a rather handy way. The users can get related information about the machines and areas under maintenance and also about the estimated time taken in resuming the facility so that they can feel transparent enough with the inconvenience.
This can be done by simply pointing their cameras to such spaces and letting the information pop up as well as the hotels can send them alerts using the beacon technology if by any chance the guests end up being in that spot while strolling and exploring the hotel.
7. Translation Facilities
Many hotels have visitors from other countries as well who might not be able to communicate properly with people of different linguistic backgrounds and keeping that in mind they might miss out on some information as well.
These guests might get confused about calling for the services in the room as well as in using instructions related to some facilities. In such a case augmented reality can come to the rescue, for instance, the guests can point their smartphones at the various texts and guides or even the hotel menu, for instance, to get the related information with the option to choose from multiple languages.
Just like this, they can call for room service or whatever they need in a rather uncomplicated and hassle-free way in the language of their choice.
Examples of AR in Hospitality
- Starwood Hotels uses beacon technology to send the virtual keys to the guests which helps them in unlocking the room using their phones.
- Holiday Inn has this feature where the guests can point their smartphones to see the realistically virtual depictions of famous celebrities in the hotel.
- Premier Inn has rooms with maps installed in them enabling guests to point their smartphones at them to have information about the nearest points of attraction.
- The Mansion uses AR-based brochures to display its accommodation facilities to its guests.
The significance of technological up-gradation can be seen in almost all businesses and industries these days. Hospitality is a service-based deal. So, not just the 5 star or huge chain hotels but the local stays are also looking forward to displaying themselves using such options and technologies.
As this industry is not unaware of the fact that how much of attraction this can bring to the guests and how many opportunities of better performance and better customer satisfaction augmented reality technology-based improvisations can unleash.
AR can be put to use combined with other technological dimensions like IoT, big data, and virtual reality to maximize usage. Also, this is not just a tool to provide a better customer experience, this can be used by the management to maintain the guests and give out accurate instructions and details on the AR-based portal.
They themselves can have information about, assume an underprocess repair began before their service duration by pointing their smartphones.