“…most guests, especially younger ones who are used to having information at their fingertips, were comfortable with the transition to digital… Some hotels, especially luxury brands, are more likely to keep both the staff interaction and the technology offeringsHotels are also using technology to save money and manage inventory. Workers used to have to count sheets, towels, robes and table linens by hand on the way out of the hotel to the laundry and on the way back in, to try to avoid theft. Some hotels now stitch in small radio frequency ID tags, which transmit radio waves, so that when a cart of laundry passes by a sensor, the number of items inside is displayed. The method saves time in counting items and has decreased theft…”
Hotels around the world are using technology in new ways, with the goal of speeding up or personalizing more services for guests. David-Michel Davies, president of the Webby Media Group, said he visited Internet companies around the world each year for the Webby Awards, which honor excellence on the Internet. He said he had found that hotels were using technology as a substitute for human hospitality.
Instead of the staff at the front desk offering advice on where to go for dinner, guests may be lent an iPad loaded with maps and suggestions for local restaurants and sightseeing. A hand-held device in the room might control the television, blinds and temperature, replacing the role of the bellman who would describe how the features in the room work when he dropped off a guest’s luggage. “Hotels are transforming service into a digital concept,” Mr. Davies said.
Barbara Kahn, who studies consumer decision-making as director of the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said most guests, especially younger ones who are used to having information at their fingertips, were comfortable with the transition to digital. Some hotels, especially luxury brands, are more likely to keep both the staff interaction and the technology offerings, she said.
Some technology offerings extend beyond the hotel’s walls. The Park Hyatt Tokyo rents guests a pocket-size mobile Wi-Fi connector to use with an iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or laptop to make international calls and get Internet access wherever they go during their stay.
For more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/23/business/electronic-smarts-at-hotels-attract-guests.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0