The world of travel, tourism and hospitality has benefitted and also changed from the technology boom over the past few decades. As we move into the future, new technology such as augmented reality (AR) has a role to play in a customer’s overall experience. How does AR plays a part in business operation in the hospitality industry such as a hotel?
AR today and in the near future, they can play a part in enhancing a guest experience beyond the luxuries, amenities, accommodation and hospitality in the hotel. How can they go about doing this?
In Singapore, Epson, a global leader in projection technology and visual communications, partners SO Sofitel Singapore for Southeast Asia first augmented reality (AR) smart glass experience within a hotel, using Epson’s latest Moverio BT-300 smart glasses. At the media event held recently, I had the opportunity to witness the launch and experience AR technology implementation in a hospitality organisation.
This was also my first time putting on the Moverio BT-300 and trying it out in a hospitality context. The Moverio BT-300 was lightweight and beautifully designed, the experience was pretty good with the visuals through the smart glasses and accompanying audio.
Guests can look forward to a true see-through immersive experience with the Moverio BT-300’s HD high-contrast display, which uses Epson’s cutting edge silicon-based OLED (organic light emitting diode) digital display technology. Powered by software from EON Reality, a world leader in Virtual and Augmented Reality-based knowledge transfer, the curated experience transports viewers into a part-real part-virtual world where informative content and videos blend seamlessly with real design elements found within the hotel lobby and suite.
Pictures courtesy of Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore
“It is our pleasure to partner leaders in Luxury Hospitality, Design and Augmented Reality to curate this experience that is a first in the region. With Moverio, Epson believes that the potential of Augmented Reality is limitless for commercial and enterprise usage – to create exceptional experiences using one of the most lightweight and comfortable smart eyewear on the market. By bringing the flavours and secrets within the heritage building to life through our technology, we look forward to deliver new and exciting multi-sensory experiences and showcase the familiar in a brand new way,” said Mr Siew Jin Kiat, Regional General Manager (Southeast Asia), Printers and Visual Products Division, Epson Singapore.
“We are So delighted to partner with Epson Singapore to be the first to launch the augmented reality smart glasses experience in Southeast Asia. When you step into SO Sofitel Singapore, you will be naturally captivated by the different elements of French design blending with local touches. With this AR smart glasses experience, guests will be able to discover and be intrigued by the surprising design elements,” said Mr Piotr Kupiec, General Manager for SO Sofitel Singapore.
On the pilot project, EON Reality Singapore’s Managing Director Mr Sridhar Sunkhad added, “Collaborating with Epson to augment the SO Sofitel unique guest experience will be an exciting journey that will teach us how Augmented Reality will become a part of our everyday lifestyle.”
Source: Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore press release
Starting my AR experiential tour journey from the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, our first stop was the “The Lion Seal” emblem, designed for the hotel by the legendary Karl Langerfield. Once the AR experience started, I was greeted virtually by Isabelle Miaja, the interior designer of SO Sofitel Singapore.
Walking along the SO Sofitel Hotel lobby, I learned about the inspiration of SO Sofitel Singapore’s beautiful design, French elegance blending with the building’s unique history and modern Singapore, through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses.
Continuing the journey inside the hotel, we entered into a special suite, the SO Sofitel Lofy suite. Through the Moverio BT-300 smart glasses, Isabelle returned on a composite screen, sharing her thoughts on the hotel design and special touches within the suite. I saw gorgeous art pieces that gave Isabelle the inspiration to combine French indulgence and the local culture of Singapore.
If you are staying at the gorgeous SO Sofitel, do try out the AR experience tour and if you happen to stay in the SO Lofy suite, you can also experience the SO Augmented room tour as well! For members of the public, if you wish to enjoy the SO Augmented hotel lobby tour, you can enquire with the guest relations officer, with sets subject to availability.
The world of augmented reality is now entering into our life, our work, the adoption and implementation is taking place among different organisations and industries. This AR collaboration project between Epson and SO Sofitel Singapore is the first in Southeast Asia within a hotel, I believe there will be more hotels entering and implementing AR technology to enhance their guests experiences.
I would like to thank Epson Singapore and SO Sofitel Singapore for the invitation to experience the new AR experience at SO Sofitel Singapore.