IN PICTURES: VRoom Service marks the next step in hotel room entertainment, thanks to virtual reality headsets
One of London’s most prestigious hotels has revealed a new interactive service for guests that will allow them to travel the world without ever leaving their rooms.
Marriott Hotels is now offering a virtual reality headset to transport guests to far-flung locations across the globe, and is also looking to expand the service to cover in-room entertainment in the future.
The VRoom Service is now available to guests at its Park Lane hotel, where 75 headsets are open for guests to hire for up to 24 hours.
The VRoom headsets (pictured left) take guests on one of three video trips, either to Chile, China or Rwanda, and are part of the company’s aim to inspire a love of travel.
“There really are a lot of synergies – hotels are all about providing a guest experience, which is multi-sensory, just like travel – and virtual reality is about providing multi-sensory experiences,” Karen Olivares, senior director brand marketing for Marriott Hotels, told TechWeekEurope.
“This is a completely new platform to showcase and inspire people to travel.”
The service uses Samsung virtual reality headsets, with the company being cited by Olivares as standing out for its aggressive push of virtual reality technology into the wider market.
“They’re really at the forefront of getting the technology and gaining critical mass,” she said. “It’s amazing how quickly virtual reality technology is moving…we’re very excited about where it can go – you just need to be nimble and react with it”
VRoom Service forms part of Marriot’s wider technology strategy going forward, with the company spotting obvious potential for in-room entertainment or communication.
Marriot was the first hotel chain to have an Apple Watch-compatible mobile app, and recently has completed installation of mobile check-in and check-out. Going forward, the company is also planning to launch Mobile Request, a two-way chat feature that lets guests speak directly to concierge to ask for extra items or services, which will be launching over the next few weeks.
This new technology coincides with the rise of multi-device consumers, notes Osama Hirzalla, Marriott’s vice president of brand marketing and ecommerce in Europe.
He says that guests are now interacting less and less with traditional in-room entertainment items such as televisions, preferring instead to experience richer content on their own devices, making faster in-room connectivity a common request.
“You want the room experience to match what you’ve got at home – but maybe a little better!” he says.
“It’s not just the innovation of travel – it’s about the future of in-room entertainment…thinking about how we use technology to enhance the guest experience in our hotels.”
“If there’s a strong appeal…what should the guest entertainment experience look like? It has to be relevant and in sync with what the customer wants.”
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