Wearable technology isn’t only about tracking steps and buzzing notifications, it’s also a very effective way to increase productivity, and the Viceroy Hotel Group is about to make the most of its potential. If you’re lucky enough to visit one of Viceroy’s upmarket hotels in the near future, staff around you may be wearing a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch; but it won’t be for personal messages, it will be for messages that help the hotel run faster and more smoothly.
Viceroy will be the first hotel to use a combination of the Gear S3 smartwatch and hotel management platform Alice as a way to connect staff with guest requests. It’s a subtler, quieter, and quicker system than the well-established walkie-talkies that many hotel workers carry around all day. Hotels are generally big places, and keeping everyone connected is a serious challenge.
How will it affect you as the guest? Imagine you’ve just arrived and are headed up to your room, with baggage left in the lobby ready to follow. The reception desk can instantly send a message to a colleague, which appears on their watch as a notification. If they’re not available, it’s a single tap to let reception know, or another tap to confirm they’ll be along to take the baggage up in a moment. It’s possible alerts could then be automatically placed on the TV screen in your room to tell you the bags are on the way up. Everyone in the process is kept informed, with the minimum of intrusion for all concerned, and the service is completed quickly.
The hotel group will use Gear S3 smartwatches with an LTE connection, ensuring that even if a staff member is out of Wi-Fi range the watch will still operate, and negate the need to carry around a connected smartphone, too. The usefulness goes well beyond carrying bags around. It’s an essentially hands-free system, and because it’s attached to your wrist it’s harder to lose, plus it’s expected to speed up attentiveness, too.
Working with Samsung, the Alice software group will demonstrate the system at a conference on hotel technology later this month, and the Viceroy Hotel Group will be the first to use the final product. For the rest of us, we’re looking forward to the Samsung Gear S4, Samsung’s follow-up to the Gear S3, which we expect to launch after the summer, potentially alongside the Galaxy Note 9.