Technological progress has been playing a key role in the development of the hospitality industry in the last two decades. In this respect, hotels are trying to recover lost ground to other industries and respond to the growing needs of their guests. Recent years show how much customer expectations regarding technology-related hotel operation have been changing. This is affected by widespread “dependence” on software and mobile devices.
A good example of this is the dynamic growth of availability of mobile applications (both in chain hotels and independent ones), which guests can download to their own devices with popular iOS and Android systems. Using a mobile application, guests can perform on their own operations that have taken the hotel service a lot of time thus far, such as check-in and check-out, room access using a digital key on a phone and the omnipresent Bluetooth technology or the ability to plan their stay by adding the available services and activities to their calendar in the application. In the era of text and video communication, the support for these two channels of contact between the guest and the hotelier is also an extremely important aspect of such applications. However, yet another technological challenge is beginning to emerge on the horizon, i.e. voice control systems. Why does it make sense for a hotel to become interested in them now?
Innovative solutions become part of our life. Even if we try to shield ourselves against them, looking back at the last 2–3 years, we will see how many elements of new technologies have appeared in our environment. The pace of this technological expansion is particularly visible in the case of the generation of millennials, since computers, smartphones and the Internet have been present in their lives from an early age. Above all, they appreciate personalised services that give them truly unique experience in combination with a business trip. The voice revolution will give them even more comfort. What amenities will they be able to count on?
Following the latest consumer electronics trade show (CES 2018), where Amazon Echo and Google Home showed new functionalities of their devices, one can be sure that it will be the voice that will be used to make phone calls without having to pick up the phone and dial the number manually. On the other hand, TV set control using a remote with integrated microphone and adjustment of blinds, lighting and temperature in the room using voice will definitely change the current functionality of many hotel rooms. Observing the direction followed by global consumer electronics leaders, one can draw a bold conclusion that rooms will be fully voice-controlled in the future.
It is exactly the right selection of modern technologies that impacts more and more the rating of stay and sets nowadays the standards that need to be met in order to satisfy customer expectations. It is these standards that set a new direction that should not be ignored or underestimated by the hotel industry. Are hotels ready then for such a change?