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With each step forward in the digital revolution, science fiction has become less like fabrication and more like reality.

Let me explain how this will change hospitality property marketing.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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At the beginning of this episode, I stated that with each step forward in the digital revolution, science fiction has become less like fabrication and more like reality. That’s in part because hardware engineers and software developers continue to improve their augmented reality technologies, making the line between real and virtual life ever dimmer. Augmented reality (AR), it seems, may soon be the true reality for us all.

AR is the blending of interactive digital elements – like dazzling visual overlays, buzzy 3D touch, or other sensory projections – into our real-world environments. If you experienced the uproar of Pokémon Go, you witnessed augmented reality in action. If not, here is a clearer explanation.

Google SkyMap is another well-known AR app. It overlays information about constellations, planets and more as you point the camera of your smartphone or tablet toward the heavens.

Wikitude is an app that looks up information about a landmark or object by your simply pointing at it using your smartphone’s camera.

But AR is more than just smartphone fun. It’s a technology that finds uses in more serious matters, from business to warfare to medicine.

The possibilities of AR tech are limitless. The only uncertainty is how smoothly, and quickly, developers will integrate these capabilities into devices that we’ll use daily.

How will hospitality property owners or managers benefit from the use of augmented reality? I will tell you, right after a word from our sponsors.

Before the break, I said I would tell how hospitality property owners or managers will benefit from the use of augmented reality.

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Augmented  reality for hospitality properties

AR evolved a lot over the past couple of years, finding its way in more and more hospitality businesses around the world. Today, hospitality properties find innovative ways to integrate this technology either for services or simply to enhance the experience of their guests.

As AR evolves, property rooms will soon be able to offer a fully immersive experience. For instance, the AR mirrorworld is predicted to transform a physical environment completely, like an alternate dimension. While laying on your bed in your room, the walls could “mirror” a forest, and the floor could become a grassy glade. While mirrorworld is not here yet, there are already wearables able to display glimpses of it.

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“Someday soon, every place and thing in the real world—every street, lamppost, building, and room—will have its full-size digital twin in the mirrorworld. For now, only tiny patches of the mirrorworld are visible through AR headsets,”

Kevin Kelly of WIRED

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With such technology, hospitality property rooms can be anchored in two worlds, both real and augmented.

Unlike virtual reality, which replaces the real-world environment, augmented reality keeps you anchored while simple overlaying upon what you see, images, video, and other elements when looking through a digital device like a smartphone or AR glasses.

Until technology can “mirror” the world through AR, however, augmented reality is ready to enhance the pre- and post-booking experience of the guests.

It is already used for destination tours or guides, smart-room key systems, self-check-in, and other applications. Many hotels, resorts, inns and bed and breakfasts already customize AR experiences to include property tours, maps, and even room service. Properties can also highlight their most interesting facilities like spa, garden, souvenir shop, pools, gym, and others through animation, information – like opening times, and other data, through AR.

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In conclusion

Augmented reality is a highly flexible technology, which can be used in a variety of applications, like 360° room tours, complete with information about amenities, availability, and pricing. This type of pre-booking use of AR can be used by the hospitality property marketing department creatively to attract direct bookings.

By showing upfront all the room features and pricing in a dynamic environment, AR enhances the booking experience of your customer.

Are you currently using or considering augmented reality in your marketing strategy? Let me know in the comment section.

If you are a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, I have included in this week’s updated episode, creative ways hospitality properties are using AR on their property.

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  TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY CONSULTING:

https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/KHDC185

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https://courses.keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/

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https://keystonehospitalitydevelopment.com/itunes-podcast

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YouTube

https://youtu.be/X1KQqM258Qk

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A Division of Keystone Hospitality Development Consulting

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