Intelligent CIO Middle East Issue 32 | Page 89

INDUSTRY WATCH INCREASINGLY, HOTELS ARE LOOKING FOR ADDITIONAL WAYS TO ENGAGE THEIR TECH- SAVVY GUESTS DURING THEIR STAY. T he problem with technology in the hospitality industry is that it’s so ubiquitous it becomes difficult to single out what developments will be the most important for the next five years. Unsurprisingly, hoteliers have been cautious of technology removing the human effect from the guest experience. But the smart ‘hotel of the future’ will have access to technologies such as artificial intelligence, wearable technology and virtual reality. These will provide the ability to accelerate service, personalise the guest experience, enable preventative maintenance and improve employee productivity. Mobile and keyless check-in options, mobile key access, digital in-room controls, virtual reality for booking and advanced energy conservation systems will become the norm. We spoke to two industry experts to find out more about the impact of technology on the sector. GRAEME KANE, HOSPITALITY Graeme Kane, Hospitality BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Business Development Manager, MANAGER, MIDDLE EAST, Middle East, Mediterranean and MEDITERRANEAN AND AFRICA Africa at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard AT ARUBA, A HEWLETT PACKARD Enterprise company. ENTERPRISE COMPANY The hospitality vertical is one of the key sectors that Aruba caters to. Aruba provides hospitality venues with a smarter, adaptive infrastructure that delivers, stable, simple, smart, securing Wi-Fi Graeme Kane from Aruba access to thousands of devices at a time, supporting mobile collaboration for staff and enabling personalised and location- based mobile engagement for guests. How would you say end-user demand in the hospitality sector has changed over the last few years in terms of technology? A revolution has taken place, from the days when we had one Ethernet port in the room with the hotels offering the guests a wired connection, or a dedicated hotel business centre often found in the lobby. With the mass adoption of smart phones and tablets in the last three years the #GenMobile travellers now use their devices anytime, anywhere and are always turned on. A couple of years ago any traveller would have carried only a laptop and a phone. Nowadays, the tech-savvy members of #GenMobile always travel with three or more mobile devices. In addition, INTELLIGENTCIO 89