Apple watch opens doors for hotels

With the launch of Apple Watch, the world will be waiting to see what new conveniences the technology will unlock. In the world of hospitality, there is one feature that could open doors for guests.

Wifi is no longer just another amenity at hotels. It’s a prerequisite for delivering personalised guest experience. Wifi can make them stand out in the crowd.

One such technology is location based services which can improve loyal customers’ satisfaction with on-device features such as auto check-in, way finding, and instant coupons for amenities. The launch of the iWatch can further improve hotel amenities. Using fine grained location services, guests will be able to do things like open doors with their watch, pay for bar tabs or call room service.

The beauty of this is guests won’t necessarily need to have their phones on them, it could all be activated by a watch talking to an in-room wifi access point or NFC door lock. The great news for accommodation providers is, in many cases, their existing wireless network is already prepared to embrace this new technology.”

It’s important to note that the biggest single benefit of LBS services is gathering data and analytics from users that can be used by organisations to improve the user experience and customer service. Almost always, when you hear pundits talk about location services, they cite the usefulness of location to push people advertisements and coupons. This is interesting and useful but users find it bothersome at best.

Naturally, a lot of focus has been on retail, where location and analytics are wed. As we’re already seeing, many solutions focus on higher-level analytics with rough RSSI data to evaluate customer traffic trends, capture rates, return rates, and similar. But with more information, retail centres can optimise stores based on typical customer traffic paths, or venue owners can charge more for premium storefront or high-view ad spots.

But look at verticals such as hospitality. They have elements of retail (bar, restaurant, spa/massage services). Then they have navigation challenges (where is the conference room, bar, my child, pool, fitness area, etc.), where a site mapping/navigation app could be helpful.

Then there’s the huge premium on customer service, where location services could be tied to customer service systems—personalised greetings for loyalty members, quicker in-app check-in on arrival, and you can dream up any number of ways to pamper guests with location-specific customer service enhancements. Expect Wi-Fi to provide much more than Internet access; as the trend matures, users will begin looking for site/venue-specific apps on arrival.

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