This post originally appeared on HFTP Connect: The Hospitality Professionals’ Blog as part of the 2012 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC).
Finally, a moment to recharge – for both my smart phone and myself! HITEC 2012 is my first experience with Hospitality Finance and Technology Professionals (HFTP). I am quite impressed with the organization and array of innovative technologies I see in the exhibit hall.
I can’t wait for my next trip! The top 3 guest technology features that I am most excited to experience in the future are:
1. Hotel room check-in and access via smart phone
I can’t remember the last time I checked into a hotel when I wasn’t tired and grumpy from travel. I would love to be able to go straight to my room to freshen up before enjoying the property.
Two products I found especially useful are:
- Yikes Mobile Travel App – Yikes syncs all your reservations booked on multiple sites. Yikes sends a message to your mobile device when your room is ready. When you arrive on the property, you are automatically checked in. So, you can go straight to your room and unlock the door with your individual security access.
- NCR Express Key – If you don’t have a smart phone with you, you can still avoid waiting at the front desk for your room key. The Express Key kiosk scans your check-in confirmation bar code from your smart phone or paper receipt and issues the card keys.
2. Digital concierge and dining menus
I am a visual person. I like to see where I am on a map in relation to where I want to go. A GPS type app on my smart phone would be useful at a large resort or convention center. When I dine out, I read each menu item to imagine what it looks and tastes like. I need to read carefully because I’m severely allergic to shrimp. It would be helpful to know the content of dishes without relying on the server. iris Software Systems has a Guest Valet concierge application for both tablets and smart phones. The Sommelier, Bar, and Menu applications allow guests to order from a visually stimulating tablet-based menu.
3. Paperless/plasticless payment
Paper or plastic? It would be great to leave my wallet behind on my next trip and not worry about either. Two mobile payment apps that caught my attention included:
- GlobalVCard – GlobalVCard allows you to make secure online payments with a single or multi-use unique credit card number. You create the “card” virtually and a digital image of the card on your smart phone is presented for payment.
- PMoney – With PMoney, you register your credit cards on a secure web site. When you are making a purchase, you enter your mobile phone number and PIN # instead of a credit card number. Your receipt is sent via SMS and email.
Last, but not least, the #1 favorite guest technology I can’t wait to see in my next hotel room – the Fujita Zero Gravity Massage Chair! Need I say more?