Hospitality Trends: Augmented Reality (AR)

Emerging technologies like augmented reality (AR) hold the promise to transform various sectors for the better.

From healthcare to the gaming, retail and hospitality industries, AR could be the key to enhancing customer satisfaction and driving revenues.

What is Augmented Reality (AR)?

Let`s start with the basics.

Augmented comes from augment, which means to enhance or add something.

Here`s what happens in the case of augmented reality (AR):

Graphics, sounds, and touch feedback are being added with the purpose of creating an enhanced user experience.

But is there a difference between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)?

VR users should be placed in an environment that`s entirely virtual. In the meantime, AR employs the user`s existing natural environment, whereas overlaying virtual information over it.

AR in the Hospitality Industry

What are the possible implementations of AR in the hospitality sector? The technology could make information easily available to guests, improving their overall experience with hotels and other property accommodations.

Let`s review a few of its possible implementations:

AR Maps

One of the UK`s biggest hotel chains, the Hub Hotel from Premier Inn has used AR to create interactive wall maps.

The maps are available in the hotel rooms and when guests point their smartphones at the wall, they can access more information about the local travel attractions and how to get there. Similar solutions are available at a number of airports, functioning as digital brochures.

AR Travel Guides

The AR-powered opportunities go beyond the wall maps. Various companies introduce interactive travel guides that inform users about points of interests, commuting, safety, nightlife activities, and many more.

Discover Rio de Janeiro with this tourist guide based on AR:

AR Translations

Menus, signs, brochures and other print and online property materials may not be translated in many different languages.

AR can solve this problem. Here`s how:

AR-powered devices can be pointed at the content (be it a menu or an information brochure) so that guests can read it in their native languages.

AR Entertainment

AR entertainment experiences are gaining popularity in the hospitality sector.

Any implementations in a real-world environment?

For instance, the Residence Inn hotel offers an app called Blippar. After installing the app, guests can point their phones at “blippable” beverage coasters to be able to have fun with interactive games and customizable selfies, among other types of entertainment.

Another example may be given with the Holiday Inn chain that allowed their guests to see virtual representations of top:

AR room keys

Did you know that AR can be used to send virtual keys to guests so that they can unlock their rooms with their phones?

For example, Starwood Hotels has offered this possibility to their guests. In the Disney Resorts in Orlando, FL, guests can also check in, lock and unlock their rooms by the help of the My Disney Experience application.

Endless possibilities

Augmented reality (AR) could be incorporated into the hospitality sector to enhance physical environments and improve guest experiences. In that way, smart property owners can position themselves a step ahead of the competition.

The future is here and technologies are already transforming the hotel sector. Therefore, it`s important to adapt to the changes and make them work for you and your business.

What do you think about AR and its possible implementations in the hospitality industry? Share your views in the comments down below.

 
Yoana Hristova
Content Writer & Strategist