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Aloft Hotel tests holographic QR codes to enhance guest experience

December 13, 2011

QR codes are part of a holographic display Aloft is testing

Aloft Hotel is testing a holographic concierge with QR codes to give guests easy access to information and offers from local businesses.

The holographic image is projected onto a life-sized cut-out of a person in the hotel lobby of an Aloft Hotel. The holographic concierge provides information about the best local shopping destinations, golfing, spas, transportation and restaurants.

“Thrifty travelers with a sense of style who Aloft caters to wouldn’t be caught dead without a trendy-looking smartphone, and they are almost certainly savvy with the sorts of apps that save time and money,” said Brennan Hayden, vice president of Wireless Developer Agency, East Lansing, MI.

 “A QR code scan presenting a special offer is a no-brainer for this group of people.

“The extra effort needed to find a QR code reader is more than worth it to this audience, who enthusiastically spend time on things that will help them find good deals,” he said.

Mr. Hayden is not affiliated with Aloft. He commented as an industry expert.

Green and red codes
Recognizing that its guests are connected via their smartphones, Aloft wanted to make it easy for them to download information from the holographic concierge.

Local advertisers can deliver a message via the holographic concierge with the QR enabling mobile guests to further engage with the advertiser’s message.

The QR codes are color coded for different types of information. The green colored QR codes provide contact information, reservation information, directions while the red QR codes offer up discounts and special offers.

“The QR codes within the virtual concierge are divided into 2 categories—green QR codes are used for downloading information, addresses, directions and more, while red QR codes offer discounts and coupons,” Ms. Rajkarnikar said. “The QR codes are offered as a complement to the concierge’s services.”

Starwood Hotels, White Plains, NY, created the Aloft Hotel brand, which has approximately 50 locations, as a mid-market hotel brand that offers modern design and an affordable price point.

The holographic concierge uses high-definition images of plates of food or products that are enhanced with the use of smell via AromaFusion technology to help address guests’ questions. The messages are delivered 24 hours a day.

“Travelers are often pressed for time, in frequent need of information, and perhaps are depending more completely on a Smartphone than they might at home,” Mr. Hayden said.

“In the hotel environment, QR codes provide a convenient means to get information immediately, rather than having to scramble for a pen and paper to jot down a URL for later use,” he said. “The QR code also insure that the information is available for later use.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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