How Augmented Reality can Transform Hospitality 2022
Augmented Reality (AR) is shaking up many industry landscapes. Although augmented reality is commonly associated with fun and games such as Snapchat filters and Pokemon Go, industries are discovering the potential of AR to provide innovative solutions, many of which were previously unknown. In recent years, the technology has been adopted throughout many industries:
- Manufacturing: Improving efficiency, reducing time and cost
- Retail: Virtual try on – try before you buy
- Education & Training: Interactive concepts producing higher engagement
- Healthcare: Enhancing visualisation of CT and MRI data
AR has also emerged as a vital tool for marketers, by enhancing natural environments and offering perceptually enhanced experiences. This can be extremely valuable to hospitality as businesses are showcasing the physical environment they offer, which can be enriched with augmentation.
Augmented Reality Technology
AR is typically accessed through an app on a user’s smartphone, tablet or a similar device. The technology compliments a user’s environment in real-time by layering digital elements, such as 3D objects and sound, over the physical environment to create a virtual, immersive experience.
AR has emerged as a vital marketing tool for many industries, offering new ways of communicating and interacting with customers. One example is the IKEA Place app, allowing users to place 3D virtual models of their products into their own physical environment, showcasing what the product looks like in its intended space in real-time. As a marketing tool, AR has proven to increase customer satisfaction and has provided a new tool for communicating with consumers. One industry beginning to adapt this technology is hospitality.
Evolving Technology in Hospitality
With technology continuing to advance at a relentless pace, it changes both the expectations of patrons, and the processes for hospitality. This makes it difficult for hotels, guesthouses and restaurants to keep up with current trends in tech, nevertheless look-to future trends. However, the importance of technology within the industry has increased as the demographics change. Millennials are now the dominant consumer and they are more likely to make bookings and purchases through their phones than previous generations.
Gone are the days when Wi-Fi was seen as a perk. Nowadays, fast and seamless Wi-Fi is a must-have for hotels and guesthouses. Mobile-first websites are fast becoming a necessity as most consumers expect digital experiences to be user-friendly, engaging and accessible through their smartphones.
These changes also provide benefits, with many of the recent technology adoptions leading to great improvements and savings for the industry.
Augmented Reality and the Hospitality Industry
AR is emerging as an important concept within the hospitality industry. The immersive technology can improve services and experiences in many ways, both as front-of-house and back-of-house applications. Hotels, like many other businesses, have identified opportunities to engage guests through this innovative technology.
1) Improved Customer Experiences using Augmented Reality
Hospitality is always looking for further ways to entertain their guests and AR provides ample opportunities to engage customers by creating virtual environments. AR can transform hotel rooms by combining virtual objects with the real environment, offering a world of opportunities to interact with guests. One example of this is Holiday Inn, where guests can view and take pictures with top British sports athletes in the hotel using AR.
Hotels can also provide location-based information to guests through their device. When clients arrive at your hotel, a virtual key can be issued that allows guests to unlock their hotel room door using a smart device. Once a guest enters the room, more information can be provided to them through the same app. Guests can view near-by attractions or avail of hotel amenities where information such as amenities and directions can be provided in real-time based on their current location.
2) Improved Services with Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is quickly becoming adapted within industries such as manufacturing as it has proven to improve efficiency of production in many ways. This could also be adopted within hospitality. Weddings and corporate events are essential to many businesses within the sector. Showcasing corporate facilities and boardrooms to potential clients using Augmented Reality can provide the visuals required to secure bookings.
Clients can choose a location within a boardroom and visuals are provided through their smart device. If an establishment has more than one boardroom available with various amenities in each, a client can explore each room separately using augmentation. A client will select to be located at the podium in each boardroom and as they rotate their device they have a clear view of the room size, seating arrangements and natural light offered in the room. As they look behind them (still looking through their smart device), they discover the size and number of screens and if the room offers further amenities when presenting. Further information can also be detailed about individual room offerings.
Clients can easily view each room and identify what it has to offer using AR – almost as though they visited the room in-person. Until recently, businesses had to rely on photography and videography to showcase what they had to offer, usually accompanied by descriptions to highlight their unique offerings. With Augmented Reality, the client has a 360-degree view of the space and the various amenities it offers, providing an extra layer of security prior to booking.
Another exciting way AR can be used to improve services is through customer recognition. All guests must be tended to with the utmost care and ensuring their experience is positive is essential. Using wearable technology or smart glasses such as Moverio and Google Glass, staff can be notified of important guest details such as booking details when they make an inquiry. For returning customers, staff can be notified of their preferences to ensure their check-in is quick, but also personalised and positive.
The possibilities of AR in the hospitality industry are endless. Customer experiences and interactions can be heightened and the technology has proven to drive engagement, both of which are extremely valuable to the industry. Whether you want to provide a better service to your customers, deliver a fun and innovative experience or simply stand-out from your competitors, augmented reality technology has a lot to offer!
For more follow digitalmm.ie