Hotel service workers are often working with two hands. Whether that's repairing a broken air conditioner, cleaning up or bringing you trays of food, they have to rely on walkie talkies to communicate with management and other staff.
Samsung is teaming up with hotel operations platform Alice to fix that. The idea is to take a bunch of LTE-enabled Samsung Gear S3s and put them on the wrists of hotel service workers.
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They'll then get vibration alerts to guest requests and other incidents. For instance, housekeeping could get a notification that room 237 need some extra towels. They just have to look at their wrist, accept the task, and go.
There's no need to call back in on a walkie talkie - plus, the risk of missing the request because they left the walkie talkie on the cart or were working on something loud is nullified. Other staff will be notified that someone is on the job and management can track, in real time, the employee and see that the task is completed.
However, companies monitoring how their employees work in real time can have an obvious negative side. While hotel workers do have a union that can try to protect them, there's always a chance hotels could one day start penalizing employees who don't move fast enough and creating a potentially toxic work environment.
In addition to housekeeping, room service and hotel mechanics will also get Gear S3s. This will extend the service to pretty much every task you can think of in a hotel, including luggage pickup.
We've seen companies start to look at wearables as a way to improve guest experiences at things like theme parks and hotels, acting as keys, payment and line-saving devices. We haven't really seen them used in the background to improve customer service yet, so this is an intriguing idea.
The tech will start rolling out at Viceroy Hotel Group hotels this summer, starting with the Viceroy L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills. This isn't a test pilot or anything either, Viceroy plans to roll this out at every one of its hotels worldwide.