The Future is Now - Exciting New Technology for the Hospitality Industry

Imagine smart carpets with sensors in the pile that sense when you get out of bed for a nighttime trip to the bathroom and then activate subtle lighting to ease your sleepy way. Or how about bypassing the whole check-in process by using your Apple Watch or phone app and heading straight for your smart room that knows who you are when you wave your device under the lock. At this point, your smart room has already set the air conditioning and lighting levels to your specific requests. Maybe you’d rather avoid the reception desk by using facial recognition software instead of a cumbersome key card to get into your room. 

Not only are technologies of this type being tested, many are already in use. Tech-savvy millennials are the group driving the trend for unique new technologies in the hospitality industry, but everyone benefits as customers of all ages look for ways to save time, increase comfort, and experience new and exciting ways to vacation both for pleasure and business. 

Starwood Tests New Technologies

Starwood Hotels and Resorts is using concept rooms to test the technology it hopes to soon use at their Aloft, Element and Four points brands properties.  According to Brian McGuiness, a Starwood’s Global Brand Leader, "Like Detroit tests concept cars, Starwood is using three complete, technology-stuffed rooms created to allow in-house designers to experiment, innovate and test to destruction". Here’s a couple of innovations Starwood is working on:
  • Botir - Personal butler service – Botir is a self-piloting room service robo-butler that comes to your hotel room with a flip-top head stuffed with necessities you may have forgotten - toothbrush, toothpaste, slippers. 
  • Buzzibooth – In need of a little peace and quiet as you work? The Buzzibooth is a desk surrounded by a noise cancelling cocoon of sound-battening materials. Complimentary PCs and tablets are provided.

Living Labs

Also doing technology testing is NH Hotel's Madrid Eurobuilding in Spain. The company has designated several of their rooms as "Living Labs." These high-tech rooms have tablets to connect you to the hotel staff, wireless charging, high-speed Wi-Fi, ultra-high-definition TVs and more. Think of the rooms as incubators where tech entrepreneurs study future hospitality technology. 


Starwood isn’t the only hospitality group enthralled with robots. If by chance you're traveling to Nagasaki, Japan in July, check-in to the Henn-na Hotel and you can be one of the first travelers to experience its ten humanoid robots. They will greet you, carry your luggage and clean your room. At this point according to company president, Hideo Sawada, the robo-receptionists, maids and bellhops will be supported by human staff, but he hopes to soon have robots performing 90 percent of hotel services.

Henn-na Hotel isn't the first to use a robot. The tech-advanced, Yotel opened its New York City property in 2011 with a Yobot, a robotic luggage handler that stores guests' bags. The capable Yobot can also send your luggage to the airport (by delivery service) when you check out.

Check-in From the Comfort of Home

A bit less futuristic and in use now at the Villa Del Palmar Resort is technology that lets guests bypass the reception desk, and get a head start on their vacation by doing the check-in process at home before they arrive. The resort located at the islands of Loreto, Mexico, allows guests to pre check-in online from their homes. The process only takes 3 minutes and when guests arrive they can go straight to their rooms or head for the pool. Guests can also take advantage of a new online Vacation Planner to schedule vacation activities, or create a-one-of-a-kind family adventure. 

Have you experienced any new technology or have tech ideas of your own that you would like to share with us? Give us your comments at 
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