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How augmented reality is changing the hospitality industry

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At some point of time, we’ve all heard the buzz around virtual reality – the technology where devices can be placed over our eyes to provide access to hypothetical worlds and experiences. But what’s the big deal about augmented reality (AR)? And how many hospitality businesses are leveraging this technology to improve operations and the customer experience?

Essentially, AR is where digital objects, data and images are superimposed on top of real-world places and objects. This

One of the most popular examples in recent years was Pokémon GO – a simple smartphone app where Pokémon ‘hunters’ could locate and collect digital creatures which would appear in the real world around them and on the screen of their mobile device.

Now, this technology is being rolled out in a range of ways which are transforming the hospitality industry. Here’s how:

Interactive destinations

One of the main uses of AR in the hospitality sector is creating interactive, digital experiences. Guests can use their smart devices to scan maps and bring up digital points of interest, exploring deeper to find out more and plan their sightseeing and holiday-making.

Menus can also have digital bookmarks like this – for example, consumers may be able to access footage of the food being prepared, where the ingredients were sourced and the history of the cuisine overall.

The sky is the limit here.

Instant information on venues

For customers on the go, AR can be a fantastic tool to gather information on hotels, restaurants, bars and other hospitality venues. By using this technology, they can simply point their smart device at the destination and have information pop up on the experiences they can expect to see more from.

Customer recognition

By combining AR with another technology – like Google Glass or your existing POS system –  service staff are able to instantly learn more about customers with just a glance.

Important information about the guest or customer – including their ordering preferences, likes and dislikes – can be displayed to provide a better experience overall.

Providing entertainment

For hotels, AR also opens the door for interactive gaming experiences for all ages.

Trails can be created and digital items collected that can lead guests on fun journeys through the local region, enjoying the localised instances and history through a guided, gaming tour.

Beacon technology

We have seen tailored marketing through social media platforms like Facebook, where advertising is targeted towards those more likely to be interested in the product or service. Beacon technology uses augmented reality to take this experience to a new level.

Consumers are delivered instant information on hospitality venues when they enter a certain radius, giving them valuable information and enticing them to come through your doors.

While these are only some examples of developing AR technology in the field, the rise of the new decade will only see these further evolve. Those in the hospitality industry can explore all the new and emerging applications, which will only become more and more mainstream in 2020 and beyond.

It’s time to innovate!