5 Ways to Harness AI for the Hospitality Experience of the Future

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AI is on track to transform the guest experience but will also have a positive impact on employee and energy management.

5 Ways to Harness AI for the Hospitality Experience of the Future

07/06/2018

This thought leadership article from Mist, which develops self-learning wireless networks using artificial intelligence, looks at the role of AI in the future of hospitality.

 

Everyone is talking these days about artificial intelligence (AI), the catch-all phrase for various technologies that simulate human intelligence in software. And the hospitality industry has reason to be especially eager to roll out the AI welcome mat.

The hospitality sector is changing at an astonishing pace as pressure builds to deliver digitally savvy guests the same great experience they get at home while also increasing operational efficiency and finding new revenue sources to replace declining ones like “pay for movie” and phone service. 

AI fits perfectly into this reshaped landscape with its ability to distill data about guests into actionable insights that hotels, resorts and convention centers can use to deliver new guest experience and that can be monetized.

Here are five hospitality scenarios that are already being transformed by AI or will be in the coming years:

1. Check-in. The age-old routine of waiting in line at the hotel registration desk to check in is on its way to being an anachronism. The AI-enabled hotel will eliminate formal check-in by providing guests with an AI valet on their smart phones. It uses facial recognition to know they have arrived, assign a room based on their preferences and download room keys directly to their phone.

If that sounds futuristic, Tokyo’s Henn Na Hotel is already using multi-lingual robots to help guests check in and out and employs face recognition to replace keys.

2. Proximity-based assistance. Through a mix of unsupervised machine learning, wireless beacon technology and the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) capabilities in your smart phones, you will have a location-aware personal valet in your pocket that will be able to answer questions such as: How far is the walk to the conference room where my next meeting is? Where is the closest restaurant? Please recommend some nearby restuarants? Where is the nearest rest room? Any good local deals?

3. WiFi that works. A large resort may have hundreds of thousands of square feet of meeting space spread around a wide area. Traditional wireless networks struggle to provide reliable service and seamless roaming in this environment, which frustrates guests. New AI-powered wireless platforms can better read usage patterns and troubleshoot problems to furnish more consistent and dependable WiFi. When your internet sucks, the virtual AI assistant in your pocket will let you know if the hotel is already aware of the problem and when it will be fixed.

4. Employee management. AI can analyze foot traffic patterns and other information to tell the hotel or resort how to best deploy staff based on demand. This means shorter wait times for guests and smarter, more efficient use of resources for the facility.

5. Energy management. Lighting, heating and air conditioning can consume as much as 10 percent of a hotel or resort’s annual revenue, according to National Grid. With AI, a property can monitor guest data to intelligently turn these systems on and off in various areas to save energy and optimize guest comfort.

As these five examples show, artificial intelligence combined with the latest wireless technology will put a virtual location-aware personal valet in guests’ pockets delivering a better user experience as well as provide hotels, resorts and convention centers a new revenue source and lower operational costs.

AI is a game-changer in attracting and retaining guestsand delivering exceptional on-site experiences.