The news that a new hotel is set to open in Japan this July has prompted me to ask here on the Htet Tayza blog; what can the Henn-na Hotel tell us about the future of hospitality?
You wouldn’t think there was anything unusual about the Henn-na
At first glance the Henn-na Hotel appears non-descript. Slated to open this July, the Henn-na Hotel has 72 rooms with a further 72 due to be added in 2016.
Apart from the fact that it’s located in Huis Ten Bosch, a Netherlands-themed park designed to emulate a real Dutch town, complete with to-size replicas of actual Dutch buildings, you wouldn’t think there’s anything unusual about this particular hospitality business. Until you hear who’s working there.
Henn-na to be staffed by ten robots
According to the Independent, there’s one thing that sets this establishment apart from any other hotel on the planet. The Henn-na Hotel is set to be staffed by breathing, multi-lingual robots. Ten of them.
Modelled to resemble a young Japanese woman, the robots are programmed to speak Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Furthermore they’ve been designed to respond to a guest’s language, eye contact or even their tone of voice. Amazingly the robots will be able to do it all; welcome guests, check them in and even clear their rooms when they leave, ready for the next occupant.
Utilising emerging technology to enhance the guest experience
If that didn’t sound ambitious enough, the hotel has big plans for the robotic element of its staff roster. At the moment they’re accompanied by human counterparts, yet eventually the Henn-na plans to use robots to perform 90% of the hotel’s services.
Yet they’re not stopping there. The hotel is taking more steps to utilise emerging technology to enhance the guest experience. Further high-tech measures being rolled out by the hospitality venture include the utilisation of facial recognition software to open doors for guests and the employment of radiation panels to check room temperatures.
Meet the future of hospitality
As such we soon see that there’s a lot that the Henn-na Hotel can tell us about the future of hospitality. Essentially, the opening of this wonderfully mad establishment has shown us that this future is rooted in the utilisation of sci-fi-esque new technologies.
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