CES 2019 just ended, and we were keeping up on all the latest technology gadget announcements. While some seem way over the top, there are definitely a few that could be big hits with consumers.
It’s those technologies hospitality needs to keep a close eye on, as we’re closely tied to the consumer world. What’s popular and trending in this space will almost certainly make an impact on guest expectations for their hotel visits.
To help hoteliers stay on top of consumer desires, here are some of the biggest technology trends we anticipate for 2019:
This really should come as no surprise. People are no longer drawn to traditional paid TV. They aren’t sitting in front of the set watching whatever just happens to be on at the time. Streaming technologies and OTT services have forever changed the landscape of how we consume entertainment.
It is important that hoteliers understand just how vital it is to offer streaming and casting services to guests.
According to eMarketer, cord cutters – adults who cancelled paid TV – will reach 33 million in 2018. That’s a 32.8 percent increase from 2017. The site further indicates that by 2020, the number of cord cutters will reach 55.1 million.
YouTube and Netflix are the leading OTT services, and the original content offered by these providers will continue to attract consumers. As such, we can easily anticipate the demand for streaming and casting services in the hotel industry to grow.
8k. MicroLED. Roll-up TVs. These are just a few of the TV trends we will see in 2019 and beyond.
And while some of these individual products – Samsung’s 98” 8k TV, for example – are cost-prohibitive for the hotel industry, guests will almost certainly be expecting some type of advanced visual technology in their rooms.
Our hotel guests will soon become accustomed to brighter screens thanks to MicroLED from Samsung. LG has upped its 4k TV game by figuring out a way for the device to be rolled up. That’s right: the TV can be rolled up like a poster and stored away until needed. And this ability still comes with the company’s signature OLED display. Talk about over the top.
The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
We are starting to see the insurgence of AI technologies in all aspects of hospitality. Chatbots have been a growing trend in how consumers interact with hotels and airlines. So much so that consumers typically don’t even recognize when they are interacting with one instead of a human.
Could this technology further expand into how we deliver in-room services and solutions? Will AI offer the ability to better determine a guest’s preferred room temperature or TV volume?
It’s not just a New Year’s resolution. More and more hotel guests are deeply committed to wellness and are looking for ways to continue their healthy lifestyles even while on vacation or traveling for business. And they are looking to be able to do so in their own rooms.
Beyond “On Demand Fitness” programming and streaming from other fitness sites, guests want a more robust experience. Some hotels are even starting to offer Peloton bikes in their rooms. Exercise mirrors are gaining traction in the consumer world, and these sleek products could easily find a home in the design of high-end, luxury hotels.
While some of these technologies may seem really out there, the concept behind them all is clear. It is all about the ability to personalize. Hotels need to give guests what they want, how they want it and when they want it. The hospitality industry thrives on service and delivering an exceptional experience. The time has come to truly figure out how to personalize that experience.