Apple’s big announcement this week put us in a technologically minded mood here at McConnell Marketing. Unfortunately, as fun as they are, the newest iPhones weren’t quite hospitality relevant enough to justify a blog-post. However, the latest advancements in cell-phone technology did make us wonder what technological changes will take place in the hospitality industry in the future. Here are some of our predictions for the future of hotel tech!
Wi-Fi is going to become freely available in all hotels! Hotel Chatter has put out a hotel Wi-Fi report since 2004, and this year 64% of hotels offered free Wi-Fi! Ironically, it’s the higher-end luxury hotels that are still holding on to the concept of charging a premium for internet access. It’s okay though, because the trend is definitely moving in the direction of free for everyone. Soon enough hotel Wi-Fi will be treated like having running water, electricity, and television in a room.
This is a pretty easy prediction. Apps are becoming common for everything whether they make sense or not. We know that at least the Marriot and St. Regis have already jumped on the app bandwagon, and many more brands are sure to follow. St. Regis has gone with an e-butler app, which fits nicely with their branding strategy while Marriot has been a bit bolder by creating a mobile gaming app.
Complimentary Netflix is coming! The television industry is changing and the on-demand video streaming service Netflix has drastically changed the way people consume media. Hotel Management wrote about this trend last December, and Netflix has only grown in popularity since then. Obviously down the rode Netflix won’t be the only service of this kind, but the general idea of on-demand watching of your favorite shows will continue to grow in popularity.
This concept video by Corning in 2011 makes the future look… Awesome! How cool would it be to have a touch screen display built into your hotel windows and mirrors? Thought it’s certainly technology that won’t be available for at least 15 or 20 years, the advent of tablet computing and multi-touch smart-phone screens make this idea seem a lot closer and realistic.
When is the adapter for the outlet going to go away? Some coffee shops and other places where people gather have started putting built in USB wall chargers next to, or replacing, their outlets. It’s a difficult proposition for a Hotel since there are quite a few outlets to change, not to mention the fact that the standard for device charging chords keeps changing. Maybe conductive charging will solve the problem. Either way, it seems to make sense for hotels to adapt and provide people with a less clunky charging experience for their devices.
Social Media Specific to Travel
One of the more interesting potential directions social media could take is specialization and niche sites. This already exists to some extent but how specialized will things get? Will sites like TripAdvisor , or Expedia become more socially integrated? Will travellerspoint type-sites become more popular? Social media can be really tough to predict, but travel exclusive social networking sites are something to keep an eye out for.
Though most travelers still use a wakeup call, or their phone as an alarm. What if hotels provided a more natural wake-up experience?Imagine that at your specified wakeup time your hotel room gradually turned up the lights in your room, or adjusted the temperature while providing the gentle sound of birds chirping. It may sound futuristic but alarm clocks based around this type of concept already exist! Taking the concept of a more natural wakeup to an entire room level would be an amenity guests could really appreciate!
Which of these predictions do you think is most likely to come to fruition? Give us your feedback in the comments below!