Faced with pressure from the rapidly evolving travel industry, hotels are challenged by changing customer expectations and new competitive threats. To keep up, hotels have the opportunity to enhance their guests’ stays, bringing increasingly convenient and personalized experiences through tech innovation.
So, our design and innovation team partnered to design a proof of concept for a new, connected hotel experience.
We asked ourselves this question: What would make a hotel experience simply amazing?
We used this statement to guide our connected hotel experience proof-of-concept.
We thought of things like:
- What would a better check-in experience look like? Is waiting in line really necessary? If we can buy a Tesla on our phone, and have it delivered to us within days, why can’t we use our phones and biometrics to check-in to a hotel?
- What if your room was already logged in to all of your digital platforms, and the entire experience was personalized to your preferences. Imagine this: you walk into your room and spotify is playing your favorite playlist, the Nest thermostat is set to your preferred temperature, a digital photo display is showing Facebook photos from your last trip, and Alexa greets you with a personalized message apologizing for your delayed flight.
We decided to design three main hotel experiences that needed a major uplift
Here’s a breakdown of the proof-of-concept based on each experience. You will have the opportunity to click through the full proof of concept below.
- Biometric authentication via kiosk — If you can unlock your iPhone using your face as authentication, why can’t you do the same with a hotel kiosk?
- Visual room check-in and upgrades — Have you ever been asked to upgrade your room for an extra $100 at the front desk? The first question you ask is, “What does it look like?” or “What extras am I getting?” By creating a highly visual experience within the kiosk, you can show customers exactly what they’re getting. And the best part about this experience is that it’s one click and done. No more waiting five minutes for the hotel attendant clicking and clacking at their computer to get you set up.
- Augmented reality directions to your room — “OK, sir. Walk 500 steps that way, take your first left and then a right at the third fruit basket.” Sure, that’s a little exaggerated, but having a visual interface to guide you to your room is a nice added touch (and fun to design).
- Digital Key — Better experience and saving the planet at the same time. Win-win for everyone!
- Temperature Control with Nest — Nest will auto-adjust to your saved home or hotel preference.
- Connected Alexa — Alexa already has your flight details, and you can do simple commands such as, “Order my favorite meal.”
- Personalized Media Center — We thought the TV could be a little bit smarter. As soon as you walk into your room, the TV has pictures of your family as the backdrop and is playing your favorite music from Spotify. It also has a little spot so you know the temperature in your current city and your home city. A nice little touch if you ask me.
Hotel Gym Experience
How could you add creative loyalty to a hotel gym experience? How do we keep hotel members engaged in the brand and be a part of enabling their health through exercise.
There are two experiences which haven’t been explored for hotel gyms, which we believe can be a differentiator for hotels.
- Loyalty Rewards — What if you could get points for checking in to the gym? What would that experience look like? If you checked into the gym every week for three months straight, what kind of rewards would you receive? Perhaps every 10th workout, you get a certain number of points reflected in your checkout summary. In our experience, we used an Apple Watch as an example of device connectivity.
- Leaderboard — Similar to a Peloton, in this new digital experience, you can know where you stand against other people that stay in your hotel or your hotel brand and segmented by the type of class the hotel is holding (Yoga, spinning, etc.)
To accomplish this, we designed the ability to reserve classes via multiple devices, in addition to a few more add-ons that we thought would add a nice touch to the gym experience.
- Reserve gym class via Apple Watch or Alexa — You can also do this via Alexa by saying “Alexa, book me a class.” This interface will also show you the leaderboard and your loyalty points.
- Access locker equipment with digital key — Using your phone/watch to access personal equipment such as lockers and yoga mats.
- Sync workouts with Peloton — You didn’t think we’d do a luxury gym experience without Peloton, did you?
Digital experiences are not the future, they are the now.
I strongly believe the way we interact with brands will completely change in the next two to three years. Consumers will expect their brand experiences to be top-notch and convenient for them. The reality is that even though this is a proof-of-concept, many of these experiences are possible right now with the right intentions and serious dedication from the hotel brands.