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Hotel Technology Trends 2020

Friday, January 3, 2020  
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Hotel Technology Trends 2020

Hospitality Net - January 3, 2020 

When adopting hotel technology, the hospitality industry is like an elephant.

Interestingly it also favoured elephants in its partners as well. Same as the animal, hotels preferred to spend time with those the same as them.

By elephants, of course, I'm referring to the fact that they are slow-moving but reliable. Funnily enough, that's exactly what the guest wants (we discussed some revolutionary ideas here).

While guests appreciate improvements, radical change can be risky for hotels. Hotel chains have built a business around this, offering a reassuring sense of familiarity, where ever you are in the world. And it works. Well.

Oscar Wilde was famous for saying the above. This is, however, flattery (or imitation) in itself of an earlier quote by Charles Caleb Colton. Wilde just added the "that mediocrity can pay to greatness". However, if we research even further, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius predates both by some time with the quote:

"You should consider that Imitation is the most acceptable part of Worship, and that the Gods had much rather Mankind should Resemble, than Flatter them." - Emperor Marcus Antoninus his conversation with himself, 1708 - Jeremy Collier and André Dacier.

So, before I take us down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia articles about the Roman Empire or literary heroes, I will bring us to a conclusion.

Imitation is commonplace, and often feels the right thing to do, no more than when providing technology to hotels. Our technology vendors also, become elephants.

Do Elephants Need Glasses?

We touched on it above, but slow and steady wins the race with hotels and of course technology in hotels.

There are a huge number of technology trends that hit the marketplace in the last 5 to 10 years, and some fantastic ones to come in 2020. These, however, have struggled to find their way into hotels.

In the main, this is because technology is targeted at those people who want to use it. Techies, geeks, nerds, enthusiasts, whatever you want to call them (read: yourself), people who buy and consume technology for technology. This is different from a hotel, where technology must provide a function.

Let's take Google Glasses as an example. Around 6 years ago, a revolutionary new augmented reality technology arrived. This allowed us to use data, available via glasses in our field of vision to augment our real life.

This caused quite a stir! ComputerWorld even dubbed 2014 "The year of the Smart Glasses".

The techie community went mad for them, buying pre-releases, reviewing and thinking about all the fabulous applications we can use them for.

So heading into 2020 you'd assume these would be commonplace everywhere now? Transcending the techie community and becoming commonplace in everyday life. Er, not quite.

"Glass showed that there were a variety of solutions that this technology could provide, but Google (intentionally?) didn't identify the problem beforehand. They wanted to see what people could do with it." - Mark Frydenberg, Senior Lecturer, Bentley University.

Except in 2020, Google Glass is back with us.

By leveraging a partner network, who created the use cases for them (Something I've spoken a lot about before), the product may now be viable.

Forget its position for techies or as a fashion accessory, it's now a tool. A tool in a correctly identified niche. Now we have a product that can help engineers and technicians, stock control agents and distributors. Not for elephants.

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