More people than ever have the financial ability to travel around the world. But with the rise of digital services like AirBnB, hotel price aggregators and couch surfing sites, hotels have seen a hit in profitability.
One of the best ways hotels can revive their brand is through superior technology, which can be integrated in a variety of ways in each room. Guestline, a hospitality industry software company based in the UK, spoke with 6 AI experts, hotel owners and architects to discuss the future of hotel rooms.
“Technology is rapidly redefining what luxury means in the hotel industry. In the next 15 years, glass TVs, biometric room controls, and one-way privacy glass will be the norm, providing a more personal, immersive, and ultimately more relaxing experience,” according to the survey.
“Using insight from some of the hotel industry’s biggest brands, we invite you to a virtual tour around the hotel room of the future.”
One of the biggest additions to hotel rooms will be artificial intelligence, which will be able to manage and personalize many parts of your average hotel room. A separate Guestline survey said that by next year, a whopping 85% of interactions with businesses will be done without any human interaction at all.
Duncan Anderson, co-founder and CEO of Humanise.AI, told Guestline that rooms of the future will be almost entirely managed through voice commands, making simple tasks like opening blinds and setting alarms obsolete.
“Technology in the future is going to be more voice enabled. You won’t need to draw the blinds yourself or even press a button, just ask through voice control. We won’t have wiring systems, and everything will be Wi-Fi enabled and hooked up to one central system,” Anderson said.
“Everything should be paperless and available to order via an iPad within 15 years. The big drive is for guests to press a button or speak about their desires and commands, so booking a spa day without needing to go to concierge or fill in a form will be the norm,” Anderson said.
The experts said even something as simple as the coffee machine will be tailored to fix you a cup precisely to your liking. Olivia Byrne, owner and director of Eccelston Square Hotel in London, told Guestline that the key to personalization was through smartphones.
“Our phones will sync immediately with the in-room technology, for uninterrupted, comfortable and seamless facetiming/television/streaming and viewing. Guests will use dining apps available through the hotel property to seamlessly order exactly what they want, when they want it,” she said.
“Voice assistants like Siri or Alexa will lose their identities, instead their universally available knowledge will be integrated into our own personalized i-personality/bitmoji. i-assistants will be a comforting extension to our own knowledge. Interfacing will be highly personalized, but less personal,” Byrne said.
You will be able to order room service, book fancy dinner dates and set up spa treatments all from voice assistants or tablets in the room, according to the survey.
Ralph Fernando, director of strategy at hotel consulting company Pragma, said the hotels of the future will take every chance to have computers handle many basic tasks. He predicts sensor-activated room lights will make it easy to go to the bathroom at night and rooms will have sensors that allow for easy temperature adjustment as well as aroma. Rooms may even have sounds designed to help you sleep.
Along with voice-controlled systems and pervasive AI, glass TVs and walls will be the next big thing to take over hotel rooms.
“We’ve already seen Panasonic experimenting with glass TVs, creating visuals on just a pane of glass. Such designs show the future of minimalism within technology and how we look to create entertainment which can be experienced without any of the usual hardware,” said Sara Canatário, product marketing manager for Guestline.
Other experts predicted that outlets will become a thing of the past as wireless technology takes over.
Even showers will get some new tech according to Guestline. They say that by 2034, hotel showers will know whether you need a brisk cold shower or a steamy sauna based solely on your body temperature.
While some in the survey said they were worried about how much hotels would be dominated by digital software, the experts that spoke to Guestline said it was inevitable.
“Soon there will be screens that welcome you by name when you approach them in the hotel lobby by using data from your mobile phones which already exists—registered through the hotels Wi-Fi,” Fernando said.
“Once you’re there it will be an automatic check-in process through facial recognition and your room key will be digitally downloaded to your mobile phone,” he said.