Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for the Hospitality Industry
By Sandy Russell, Vice President, Commercial Operations, Asia Pacific, Carlson Rezidor
Today’s hospitality landscape seeks to offer a guest experience that is truly unique. Hyper-globalization continues to evolve today’s landscape with technology and digital trends. The paradigm shift of communication channels is inherent as it transits from the traditional realm of marketing through advertising, or static print collaterals to online websites, social platforms and even mobile platforms. Experimental ideas are now taking the lead in this space. Getting ahead of the curve, hospitality companies are redefining the design process for investors and how travelers discover and explore hotels.
The proliferation of technology and changing consumer behaviors has led to the growth and need for our focus on technology and innovation. With a technology moving on an upward trend and the introduction of new platforms including Web2.0, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The industry is now exposed to a new realm of tools to create truly unique experiences, opening a new world of experiential engagement, enabling a sensorial appreciation of what each has to offer.
“Robotics and artificial intelligence continue to grow and will potentially become ubiquitous in the hospitality industry.”
The hospitality industry needs to stay ahead of changing guest expectations and captivate new audiences.
The concept on Augmented Reality (AR) as well as Virtual Reality (VR) provides the technological edge that is set to propel the evolution and differentiation of the plethora of brands across the industry.
The hospitality and travel market is embracing VR, the latest in immersive and interactive visualization technology; VR should be embraced in a broader way as the technology is used to increase product differentiation knowledge. The use of such technologies can go beyond the current realm. On the hotel operations’ front, the use of VR can certainly be employed to enable consumers to visualize rooms, meetings and event spaces of our other brands. For example, corporate clients will have the ability to visualize and experience their function areas before making their booking. And for couples, VR provides them the opportunity to view their potential ballroom wedding setup, prior to making a major decision of their lifetime. VR will provide potentials with a more realistic feel to the venue for more informed decisions.
Leveraging on the AR tool has several uses including the integration to the hotel’s online booking sites. A hotel’s guest booking experience is enhanced as you provide them with the ability to have the three-dimensional feel of the room type or hotel surroundings – all within the convenience and accessibility of their mobile device. Geo-tagging and customization of locations are also possible with such apps; this has led to even more effective communications where relevant information such as nearby attractions can be experienced in a more interactive and immersive manner.
Robotics and artificial intelligence continue to grow and will potentially become ubiquitous in the hospitality industry. As cloud technology and computing emerge, various algorithms and methodology has enabled big data and information collected from various avenues of booking transactions to be converted to an easily understood information for better decision making. With machine learning, algorithms can be input to analyze sentiments, improved data analysis can increase productivity. For example, instead of the laborious hours of manual computation for revenue managers, artificial intelligence will now be able to detect anomalies and its market variables effectively to calculate the optimum hotel rate in real time. In the same fashion, sentiments may enable hoteliers to identify their guests’ preferences.
With an evolving technological landscape and the multitude of opportunities that are available to the hospitality industry, understanding the opportunities, which abound, and undertaking the right platforms to fit your business model requires a significant evaluation of your strategies and readiness to get ahead of the curve.