Originally published in Tasting Table.
People are on the move today more than ever, and technology is making travel more accessible, efficient and convenient. As Marriott is finding, the key to the future of travel is a digital one. We speak to Brian King, chief global digital officer for Marriott International, about how the hotel brand is providing high-touch personal service through high-tech-connected rooms.
Big picture: What’s the future of tech and hospitality?
"Voice activation is growing at such a rapid clip year over year. We're looking ahead and asking: What does that mean for lodging in the future? When you think about it, people's personal digital assistant needs to travel with them. One of the ways we're starting to build that into the structures is the Internet of Things.
"We have a model room in headquarters, where [we’re experimenting with a few things]. Say we know you like to get up at 7 a.m., and we know you like to do yoga. We're going to have the screen on the television wake you up at 7 a.m. and start your yoga class right in your room.
"Even think about all your artwork at home or pictures of the kids and the family. You can load those images onto the Marriott app. Then when you walk into the room, you'll open the door and the pictures can be right on the TV.
"I like to say: your stay, your way.
"At the W in Austin, we're experimenting with voice activation. You can talk to the in-room voice assistant and ask for the best barbecue place in Austin. At the LAX Marriott, we’re experimenting with the ability for the guest to control the climate from their phone. If you have a Nest at home and you want to set the temperature to 72 degrees, why can’t you do that in hotel rooms as well?
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