New Frontiers: Augmented Reality and the Hospitality Industry

Phoebe Leyland
January 8, 2020

It’s proving increasingly difficult to find an area of our daily lives that technology hasn’t enhance in some way shape or form. Intelligent, innovative solutions are making us all more efficient as we go about our day-to-day lives. Everything from dining out to staying in hotels has been brought in line with the digital age, and augmented reality is one of the top emerging tools being used within the hospitality sector. From speeding up check in desks to providing guests with control over the ambience of their rooms, we’re going to take a look at some of the top ways that these technologies are being implemented into the industry.

Adding new dimensions with AR

Augmented reality, known as AR, uses technology to alter a person’s perception of their surroundings. It offers a simulated virtual environment for a person to interact with. It can be applied to a range of purposes, from entertainment to training facilities, and it can be accessed through devices such as smartphones, headsets, or tablets. With AR, the existing surroundings are still there, but the digital elements it creates add a layer over reality ‘ hence the name! Through AR, environments can become more interactive, providing the user with a new perspective. So, how can this be adapted for the hospitality sector?

Interact with your room

AR has become commonplace in hotel rooms, serving guests by enhancing their stay and giving them an element of personalisation. Nowadays, customers are attracted to the concept of an experience, and the idea of any kind of unique element contributes to this. In this way, AR can be used to make rooms more interactive, which will add value to the guest’s stay. Providing maps which facilitate AR technologies is a popular approach, and when a smartphone is pointed at areas on the map AR generates a range of helpful visual content. This added convenience is what distinguishes a stay as an ‘experience’, by providing customers with a handy solution making their stay better overall.

Entertainment source

Gamification has a huge scope for application within the hospitality sector. It has become a phenomena of sorts in the wider world, with successes such as GeoCaching and Pokémon Go sweeping across the nation sending participants on augmented missions and treasure hunts. AR has become one of the most accessible, portable applications for gamification, and all a user needs to get started is a smartphone.

As an entertainment platform, AR can be used anywhere with an enabled device. There’s no end to the visual creations which can be generated ‘ from creating simulations of global landmarks to depictions of celebrities, the possibilities are endless! AR based apps could even allow guests to redecorate rooms, allowing you to tailor your stay to your décor preferences, demonstrating how effective the technology could become for allowing guests to have more say over their stay.

Take a tour the smart way

While the booking process has moved online, we could be anticipating a further shift towards AR based booking systems. While 360 degree tours such as the Kingslodge Inn virtual tour are already popular with guests, this service could become even more thorough. The technology can add real time dates and information to provide guests with a better idea of room availability, the facilities available, and any events happening in the location of the hotel. By providing these extra details, guests can book a trip that suits their requirements. Information such as transport links could also feature on these AR tours, giving guests a genuine perspective of how they’ll get around the area during their stay. Whether you’re visiting the hustle and bustle of London, or if you’re simply looking for some traditional pubs in Durham, an AR tour could give you a first-hand perspective through some creative digital elements.

The hospitality industry looks set to embrace all of these advances, in order to captivate the imagination of an ever-modernising audience!

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