Top Tech Headlines from January

When it comes to technology in the hospitality space, innovators will emerge as leaders in an increasingly competitive landscape. Customer experience will be the true differentiator among brands and judging from recent technology announcements in January, hotel and restaurant companies are turning to disruptive, emerging technologies to provide an advantage in digital customer engagement.

For instance, at the beginning of January, voice activation technologies became a hotbed of activity and a new next-gen experience battleground. Both Wynn Las Vegas and Wingstop revealed that they will be using Echo, Amazon's hands free voice controlled speaker. Wynn Las Vegas will install it in guest rooms so that guests can control various hotel room features such as lighting, temperature and the audio-visual components while using just their voice. Meanwhile, Wingstop customers with an Echo at home will be able to place a new food order, re-order from favorite and recent orders, process payment and receive estimated pick-up times.

Wynn Las Vegas to Add Amazon Echo to All Hotel Rooms

Wingstop Launches Voice-Activated Ordering for Amazon Alexa
Carnival Corporation announced its new interactive guest experience platform featuring a wearable called the Ocean Medallion, a digital experience portal called the Ocean Compass, and an Internet of Things network. The Ocean Medallion is a quarter-sized disc that is provided to all passengers. Each guest's Ocean Medallion includes Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies that will streamline and expedite the embarkation and disembarkation process, provide stateroom access as guests approach the door (no keycard required), help locate friends and family, and enable guests to purchase merchandise. Ocean Compass works in tandem with the Ocean Medallion and serves as a vacation concierge before, during, and after travel to build personalized vacation experiences. 
Read more about it here: TE2, The Experience Engine to Be Development Partner in Carnival's New Interactive Guest Experience Platform
Dragontail Systems  launched a quality control sensor and camera system for pizza shops and other QSRs worldwide. The Camera Cut Station Unit (CCSU) monitors key elements in a kitchen during the preparation and cooking process to improve the quality and consistency of pizzas and other meals that a restaurant is producing.  In the scenario of a pizza shop, the camera can automatically send a photo of a pizza directly to a customer’s mobile device when the meal is ready, including the temperature and the time it came out of the oven. Plus, the system contains wireless sensors that monitor the temperature of the food in the oven, the fridge and kitchen, and can immediately alert staff to any issues. At the same time, the mounted camera analyzes the quality of ingredients to ensure that the correct ingredients have been used in the preparation of a meal.
Read more about it here: Dragontail Launches Quality Control Camera for Pizza Shops, QSRs
Global restaurateur HMSHost teamed with SoftBank Robotics America (SBRA), the North American arm of SoftBank Robotics Holdings, to launch a pilot program with Pepper the humanoid robot at the Oakland International Airport. Pepper will greet and engage with guests at HMSHost’s Pyramid Ale Taproom in Terminal 2, offering assistance, menu recommendations and directions to travelers.

Read more about it here: Airport Restaurant Uses Humanoid Robot to Assist, Entertain Guests
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