Dr James Canton, from leading think tank the Institute for Global Futures, has predicted that the hotel of the future will come with robo-butlers, 3D printers, DNA mobile payments and even neuro-technology that enables you to choose your own dreams.
Canton says: “Trends in technology, science, energy and entertainment will vastly change the hotel experience for travellers. The emergence of a new ‘travel design science’, which is a combination of using big data, artificial intelligence and predicting travellers’ dreams, will mean the whole travel experience will change in the future.
“The future of travel is really exciting, as we’ll see predictive travel analytics anticipating what consumers want from their experience before booking. The hotel booking itself will be helped along by artificial intelligence software agents, using data mining and intuitive computing.
“The new travel design science will help create highly personalised in-stay experiences. And it doesn’t end when you check out, because new analytics will also ensure lifelong travel fulfillment.”
Here are the 13 long-view trends that will determine what the hotel of the future will be like, and how the guest experience will shift. Some of them are already bubbling under the surface of what we are capable of now, while others are closer to being Moon Shot concepts that are a little harder to fathom…
These autonomous robots can be programmed with special talents, skills, languages and information to help make the hotel stay exceptional. They will do everything from greeting guests at the airport, to offering gourmet food delivery, room makeup, companionship, education, entertainment, business advice and concierge services.
2. Morphing hotels made to order
The next-generation of “made to order” sees hotels that self-assemble and morph from one design to another based on consumer feedback. These crowdsourced hotels will use nanotechnology and machines that can self-assemble environments, buildings or even entire physical worlds.
3. 3D printing
Taking luggage on holiday will be a thing of the past. 3D Printers will transform the in room experience. 3D Makers will generate – in real-time – items guests desire, such as a new pair of shoes, clothes, pharmaceuticals, even computers or wearable phones. 3D shopping will be available, where consumers download from the Cloud retail goods that they want to design on-demand. This will become the standard in every hotel room.
The definition of getting a good night’s sleep will be changing in the future. A hotel bed will no longer just be a place to enjoy a comfortable night’s sleep, as future travellers will be able to choose their own dreams before dozing off. Hotels will give guests access to “neurotechnology” to program their dreams. They can choose a dream theme to either relax, enhance, learn or enjoy.
5. Crowdsourced pop-ups
The next generation of pop-up hotels will be based on mobile crowdsourcing, where the theme and location is decided by votes. The pop-up hotel designs that win the most votes will be programmed to self-assemble using 3D printers, use continuously generating Bio-solar cells and feature nanotechnology. These hotels will exist for a limited time and HotelCoin, the digital Blockchain currency, will be used by consumers to pay with their wearable mobile app.
6. Wellness and longevity spas
Gone are the days of a simple facial or massage. The hotel spa of the future will be based on DNA analysis and longevity. You will receive genetic testing, personalised disease prevention treatments, predictive health enhancement programmes and brain-boosting therapies.
7. Sci-fi airport transfers
The future of airport transfers will be self-driving pods, autonomous flying cars and the Hyperloop, whereby train-style carriages will be propelled through tubes at ultra-high speed.
8. DNA mobile payments
Your DNA is the ultimate in personal identification and will be used to confirm travel bookings and payments online. When you check into your hotel, all that will be needed is a DNA fingerprint to confirm who you are.
9. Virtual avatars
The booking of hotels will be done by your very own travel avatar – like a digital software agent. Your travel avatar will help fulfill all your travel needs and wishes. It will manage bookings, like a personal version of Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, communicate, negotiate and design your whole travel experience. It will be the ultimate in customer care.
10. Next-level eco
Many hotels already focus on being eco-friendly but in future every hotel will be fully sustainable. They will excel in energy efficiency, buy and sell energy off the Renewable Energy Grid, use safe, clean products only, use the latest solar and geothermal technology and have a carbon neutral footprint. Eco hotels will also be socially aware, with products and workers all producing a positive social impact in the community.
11. Augmented reality
Travellers will be able to stay at hotels that are part physical, part virtual. While virtual reality is simply a recreation of a real-life setting, an augmented reality experience actually blends the physical real world with the artificial. Millions of innovative scenarios will be possible – an excursion to Africa or a trip Machu Picchu in Peru? Augmented reality hotels will create the ultimate adventure. Consumers will not be limited to real-world, local excursions – they can enjoy fantasy escapes as well.
12. Gourmet genomics
Hotel restaurants will start to feature food designed for the individual, again based on DNA analysis. Before you even arrive, your diet and nutritional requirements will be assessed, and a menu optimised for your genetic potential. (It’s easy to identify if you are lactose intolerant or bad a processing “good fats” such as avocado.) It will be designer food, made by top chefs.
13. Immersive worlds
Hotels of the future will have themes based on immersive worlds. Hotels will become entertainment hubs where travellers can experience them as fully interactive event locations. There will be combat gaming competitions between networked hotel communities, Roman worlds with chariot races and Renaissance themes complete with costumes and customised androids.
14. Smart rooms
By 2060, the hotel room of today will be almost unrecognisable. The room of the future will have facial recognition entry systems, multiple sensors attuned to you, talk-back TV, touchscreen surfaces, smart toilets and mirrors, neuro-enhanced aromas, towels with pollution wipe nano coatings, wireless temperature controls, self-assembling and personalised beds and pillows based on neuro-feedback, and holographic entertainment.