Augmented reality is a technology that overlaps a computer-generated illustration on the user’s view of the real world to provide a compound vision. It includes the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real-time. Unlike virtual reality, that creates an entirely artificial environment, augmented reality adopts the real environment and imposes useful data on top of it.
With the advancement in the AR technology, various industries like the travel industry, airports, educational institutes, and hospitality industry are adopting it. AR is used as a tool to increase customer satisfaction and profitability. Among other industries, the hospitality industry is among the first to acquire this fascinating innovation.
The importance of AR in the Hotel Industry
In general, the hotel industry has two main goals regarding guests:
1. First, to provide such services that make every guest feel like home.
2. Secondly, they offer guests advanced and trendy facilitation to make their stay a memorable experience.
AR is one such tool, which has created a significant impact on the hotel industry by facilitating the guests with the most recent and exciting technology.
AR can be accessed through numerous devices by guests, such as smartphones, tablets, and headsets. The most recent device is augmented reality smartglasses. Substantially, AR produces digital components into reality for guests within the hotel room, rather than replacing the reality virtually. This appears by imposing information over a live picture on surfaces like a refrigerator, TV or any other object, as well as at places like a bathroom, window, etc.
Below, some of the uses of AR that are most interesting for the hospitality sector, are briefly reviewed.
AR becomes a guide for guests about hotel facilities
This is one of the essential uses of AR in the hotel industry which provides services as a guide to introduce guests to the hotel's facilities. This helps guests not only inside the hotel room but in outside areas as well, such as lounges, parking areas, fitness centre, etc. Take an example of walking through the corridor; AR will guide guests about the directions and amenities of a modern hotel room.
AR can be used in combination with wall maps placed in the hotel rooms. Thus, by pointing a smart device at the map, guests would be able to know all the details of the place they intend to visit. It will make their stay more conducive and pleasant.
Introducing AR technology in the hotels will bring remarkable transformation to the guest experience. Guests will now feel more connected and more updated about the facilities provided to them. It can bring in a lot of positive reputation in technological advancement to the hotel industry.
AR becomes a translator/interpreter for international guests
Many hotels receive guests from other countries who find it hard to communicate in the same language. These guests usually get confused about the services not only inside the room but also in the common use facilities. In this case, AR can play a significant role; for instance, guests can point their smart device, and get the information they want in their native language. Similarly, they can call in for room or laundry service using AR devices and order food at the restaurant.
This feature of AR can be significant for hotels which accommodate delegations, sports teams, and travel groups from other countries. Usually, such guests feel hesitant during their stay, but with AR technology in their native language will be an appealing and satisfying experience for them.
Location-based AR helps guests find the nearest places to the hotel
This is another innovative approach of AR, which has transformed the way guests and travellers can enjoy their stay at the hotel and roam around places. “Guests not only love to see new places, but they also want to experience the use of innovative technologies,” as per an extract from King Report Service.
Most of the hotels cover a vast area with various sections, and it might become confusing for guests to find places around. With AR, this confusion can be turned into an adventure, as the smart devices can direct them and guide them through the route to their intended place. Besides, if they want to discover new places, like a famous fast-food chain, superstore or coffee shop, location-based AR can lead the way to their destination.
This aspect of AR technology can show directions and routes to guests. It also assists the users to track and guide the locations by imposing the layer of AR technology. Thus guests feel more independent and enjoy their tour much more than before when they used physical handheld maps.
This is just the beginning of AR technology applied in the hotel industry. Hence, not only 5-star hotels but also moderate hotels are looking forward to grabbing the benefits of its scintillating debut. The technology is all set to attract more guests by providing these advanced tools as well as the overall experience of Augmented Reality.
* Article published in Hotelier Academy.