In a world full of technological advances and innovation, it’s no surprise that this level of hi-tech mastery would find great use in the wonderful world of customer service. Paying a premium these days really does find you great value in the amenities on offer; the following gadgets are all found in hotels around the world, and truly are some of the most unique, bizarre, craziest, yet brilliant, inventions created in a world obsessed with digital.
The Yobot Yotel
Situated in New York City, the most innovative new customer service assistant around is actively working around the clock, entertaining and aiding customers of the New York City ‘Yotel’. A large mechanic arm attached to the wall, the Yobot allows customers to safely store their baggage in the compartments located in the lobby for a timid price of $2. The best thing about this glorified bellhop? No tips…ever (well, $2, I suppose – hardly a dent).
Designed as the most courteous and efficient way of handling your baggage, the Yobot is designed with a high-tech system that encourages the user to input their own personal pin code and card device, impressively allowing the robot to identify each separate piece of baggage corresponding to the specific customer. In a world making social interaction secondary to technological innovation, this certainly ranks high up at the top, and is no doubt an impressive feat.
The ‘Grace’ App
A saving grace, indeed; this nifty little app is basically a feature that you can download to your iPhone and watch as it creates your packing list for you. Let’s face it, when it comes to going on holiday, the packing is the bit you fear most, and for good reason. Last minute decisions can cause excessive and unnecessary panicking, but with the saving Grace app, you need not worry. Not only does it act as a generic checklist (including information on where to change your money, and reminding you to get travel insurance), it also packs in different scenarios.
Say you’re going skiing, what exactly do you need to pack? Say you’re going to Barbados for a week – well what then? The technology caters for different holidays based on the user’s preference and is incredibly interactive, allowing you to personalise it to your liking, deleting the appropriate topics and even adding your own if you don’t see it there; a must-have for any globe-setting fanatic.
iPads and Apple Macs
What better way to stay in luxury than to bring along your iPad or your laptop computer? Well, no need; certain hotels situated around the world actually provide their own iPad service in your room. Some, such as The Weinmesiter in Berlin, even include an Apple Mac for guests. Not only are you allowed to peruse the Internet from the comfort of your hotel room, rather than band about for a small, dingy Internet café, but it also gives you the option of checking flights, ordering room service, and finding the best places to dine out in town.
Resembling something found in any old sci-fi film from the ’90s, theWit hotel in Chicago is one of the most forward-thinking hotel services on the globe.
The hotel is wired in every aspect with an IP Network that spans the entire building, from room to elevator, making it technologically complete. Every little aspect can be controlled, interacted with, and fitted to the customers’ needs. All lines are connected to the front help desk, and there is a remarkable little function that calculates body heat within a hotel room, based on pre-installed heat sensors, and changes the temperature accordingly to suit the customer.
In addition to all this, the rooms come complete with NEC VoIP phones, which act in a similar fashion to the iPads already discussed, and allow the user to take advantage of the hotel’s many services, as well as checking updated flight times and adjust their wake-up calls.
Do Not Disturb
One of the biggest problems customers have whilst staying in a hotel is the room service; it’s not that it’s particularly bad, but no one wants to have the maid abruptly walk in on them at 10.30AM whilst they’re having a well-deserved lie-in. In certain hotels, this problem has been rectified in a plethora of different and unique ways.
With the press of a button, you are able to illuminate a Do Not Disturb sign that is situated outside the door, doing away with those old cardboard pieces, and saying hello to a bright new future. In contrast, if you wish to ensure your room is cleaned by the time you return, you can choose the ‘Make Up Room’ option and encourage the maid to enter.
Elsewhere in the world, hotels have started to use infra-red sensors, which actually scan the room for the maid or clerk, to check if anyone is still in the room. If nothing is detected, the maids are given the all clear and are allowed to enter. Pretty sweet, right…?
Paving the way for a complete reboot of how we view customer service, these innovations have stunned and awed the masses, leaving one question fixed firmly in their minds – whatever next?