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InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is the latest lodging giant to start rolling out the next generation of technology-based guest services, much of it designed to work with customers’ smartphones, and one intriguing innovation — a language translator — that works with the Apple Watch.
The company said its IHG Translator App will translate a spoken English phrase into any of 13 other languages, or users can select from a menu of common phrases that are pre-loaded into the software.
Other innovations coming from IHG include:
- Mobile Check In and Check Out, including confirmation of arrival time and notification by SMS when a guest’s room is ready. It is currently being deployed in the Americas region, and U.S.-based IHG Rewards Club elite members “will have exclusive access to the service in the first instance,” the company said.
- An extension of the check-in, check-out service is the new Mobile Folio, which lets guests see their hotel bill in real time on their phone or tablet; they get the final bill during Mobile Check Out.
- Mobile Room Keys — currently being tested in the U.S. — will let guests bypass the front desk upon arrival and go directly to their assigned room, using a smartphone to open the door.
- With IHG Guest Request, customers can use the IHG App to ask hotel staff for a variety of special services or items for their rooms; the app logs and tracks all requests to make sure they get a response.
- IHG hotels in China are the testing ground for iBeacon technology. This involves planting little devices in lobbies and hotel restaurants that recognize IHG Rewards Club members by detecting the IHG App in their phones. “They then send information to the guest’s smartphone, including personalized notifications and offers relevant to their stay,” the company said.
- The company is teaming up with Stay.com so that guests who book IHG properties in any of 50 worldwide destinations will be able to research and download personalized travel guides, for use online or offline. The linkup with Stay.com begins June 25.
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