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Hospitality Technology

Avanade Mobile Applications

I will admit that I am personally very hesitant to endorse mobile applications and usually write most of them off as toys, with no real advertising value.  However, there are several that are so great that I can’t help but want to use them and talk about them.  Avanade certainly makes apps worth talking about.  This app connects travelers and their destinations in a very useful and meaningful way, for both parties.  The traveler can download the app and immediately begin interacting with the hotel through the virtual concierge.

The guest may now pre-order room service, spa treatment, and other services that are made available on the app.  The many different tabs focus on the guest’s experience in every area.  They may arrange their transportation, review different forms of entertainment, interact with other guests, order amenities, control their billing, and even use their phone/tablet as a room key!  The app’s social media integration also encourages additional reviews, check-ins, and Facebook likes/comments.

The best part of this for the hotelier is that all of these interactions are stored and easily integrated with CRM platforms, as well as the built in analytics cloud that lets you really get to know your customers.  By keeping track of their purchasing and travel habits, you will be able to better predict sales, market your services, and create meaningful content for social media!

E-Table

This innovative idea projects user-controlled images onto a restaurant dining table turning the table surface into an interactive menu.  The diner may now control everything involved in his or her dining experience.  Once at the table diners would be able to immediately order, if they want, or sit and peruse detailed pictures and descriptions of every item available.  The additional pictures are certainly an advantage over the traditional menu, as well as being able to order without having to summon the waitress/waiter or having them hovering.  The interface also provides the estimated wait time until your food arrives.

Another cool feature of this product is that the guests can peek in on a behind-the-scenes look at the kitchen if they desire giving the restaurant great transparency and customer loyalty.  The product also allows for customers to play games, either solo or with each other while waiting, customize the look of their table, and even order a taxi home. 

Many locations have been experimenting with using iPads and tablets as menus.  By doing that they are not only putting thousands of dollars in technology in harm’s way, but also making the restaurant a target for thieves.  By projecting the screen onto the table, the E-Table keeps the electronics out of the hands of the guests and increases the size of the interactive surface significantly.

Hydro Floors

Picture a wedding reception at a hotel where everybody starts off with a big fancy meal, in a room full of tables.  Everybody has a great time, the toasts are made, and then the tables are cleared and everybody dances.  Now everybody is asked to clear the dance floor and once they’re clear, the floor begins to sink.  As the floor lowers it begins to flood and upon reaching its lowest point there is now a swimming pool in the middle of the room!  So that’s why the invitation said to bring your bathing suit!

Not only a great way to create extra space in the building, this is a great way to turn some heads!  Hydro Floors create an experience that will not soon be forgotten.  This product is not only for pools but can be used for Jacuzzis in guest rooms and common areas as well.

Smart Televisions

Although I’m sure this product is not news for most of our readers, I couldn’t write this article without mentioning it.  The introduction of smart televisions into hotels is a guaranteed method to WOW your guests.  While a WIFI connection was once considered luxury, the future has now arrived!  The travelers can lay back and SKYPE with their friends, enjoy a Netflix movie, interact with the hotel staff and other guests through various applications, and everything else the internet has to offer.  The only problem is that they might never want to come out of their rooms!

With a sophisticated network of these devices, the possibilities are endless.  The hotel can host a huge variety of events like online poker tournaments, online conferences, and video game tournaments.  As with everything else done online, all of this can be personalized for the guest and at the same time collect valuable marketing information for the hotel.

By Michael Faulds

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