Technology is everywhere these days, and it's not just personal gizmos like mobile phones and tablets that are so plentiful. It's safe to say that high-tech gadgets can pop up anywhere in your daily life – from the self-serve check-out machine at the supermarket to the interactive displays on shop windows.
In the hospitality industry, too, we are seeing more and more innovative uses of technology – each one designed to improve guest satisfaction, create a more personalised experience and help the hotel or restaurant take steps to improve its performance and exceed expectations in the future.
The key, however, is to implement the technologies in a streamlined and useful way. Otherwise, they won't be used.
In a recent article in Hotel Industry Magazine, editor Phil Benson took a look at some of the technology products that are 'revolutionising' guest interaction.
He reminds us that "every interaction with a guest is an opportunity to highlight what your hotel can offer", and explains that "new interactive technology is helping to enhance hotel guest experiences and mobile technology in particular is becoming a key tool to do this.
"Today's savvy guests want more than simple paper menus or maps," he adds.
Mr Benson suggests a couple of products that hotel management may want to consider adding to their repertoire of tech.
One is called Monscierge. According to its website Monscierge "helps progressive hotel brands create memorable experiences for each and every guest".
Comprising various interactive signage and mobile apps, as well as a content management system, this product is designed to help you help your guests in regards to finding local recommendations like attractions, restaurants and leisure facilities, as well as up-to-date travel information.
There's also Cardola VirtualHotel, which was developed by hoteliers for hoteliers. Benson describes it as a "guest-focused, multi-platform solution" and it can be accessed on an in-room tablet, or the guest's own device through a free-to-download app.
He says the technology can provide instant access to all of the facilities that a hotel has to offer – all at the touch of a button, which could help "extend and enrich existing concierge services" at any point during a guest's visit, as well as before and after.
Berkeley Scott is a specialist hospitality recruitment agency