Augmented reality technology has made its way into the hospitality industry. From virtual maps to quirky digital experiences, hoteliers are creating fun and memorable guest experiences using AR. By investing in AR solutions, they hope to exceed the expectations of guests and make their stay unforgettable.
Best of all, hoteliers don’t have to commit to expensive and permanent changes when they’re experimenting with AR.
So, how is AR influencing the hospitality industry?
Let’s dive right in.
What Are the Advantages of Augmented Reality Technology?
AR technology can be used to create interactive experiences within the hotel setting. For instance, AR apps can provide guests with information about artworks and other design elements within the hotel. Guests can point their camera around to learn interesting facts about the space.
Hotels can also use AR to create virtual maps, especially if the place is quite large. They can get information about amenities, prices, maintenance issues, housekeeping schedules, and more.
Additionally, AR can bring marketing collaterals like brochures, catalogs, and magazine spreads to life in new ways. Guests can scan printed materials using an AR app. From their smartphone, they can unlock all kinds of digital content, such as audio, video, and 3D models. These digital elements will be added to real-world settings, creating fresh and exciting experiences for guests.
For instance, scanning a photo of a bedroom in a magazine might prompt a 3D layout of the bedroom and everything in it. Without even setting foot in the bedrooms, guests can inspect them thoroughly. This virtual tour can help them decide which rooms to book.
How Are Hotels Using Augmented Reality Technology?
During the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games, Holiday Inn used AR to create immersive experiences for guests around the hotel. Using a mobile device, guests were able to overlay photos or videos of their favorite athletes into a real-world setting.
The AR experience brought BMX world champion, Shanaze Reade, into the hotel lobby and windsurfer Nick Dempsey in the guest rooms. Other athletes that appeared in the AR experience were table tennis player Will Bayley and long jumper Chris Tomlinson.
Aside from watching their stunts, guests were able to snap photos with these athletes in AR. They could even share the photos on social networks.
Meanwhile, Starwood Hotels experimented with beacons, which are special augmented reality technologies. They are small wireless transmitters that can connect to nearby smart devices. They used these beacons to send virtual keys to their guests, allowing them to unlock their hotel rooms through their smartphones. All they had to do was tap a button.
Using beacons, hotels can also send information, such as maps, schedules, or prices, directly to their guests.
Does Augmented Reality Technology Have a Future in Hospitality?
The best thing about AR is that it is very accessible. Unlike virtual reality, guests won’t have to wear and carry around bulky headsets. Since AR overlays computer-generated elements into real-world settings, guests are able to see the environment around them at all times. They won’t put themselves and others in harm’s way.
Compared to other industries, augmented reality technology isn’t as widely used in the hotel industry yet. Thus, investing in it as early as now can give hotels a competitive edge. It’s an effective way to get your hotel to be one of the must-visit places in your area.