Globetrender speaks with Juan Carlos Abello, founder and CEO of tech firm Nuvola, about how its collaboration with Kairos, a leading facial recognition company in the US, will mean guests can check-in at hotels, enter hotel rooms and pay for drinks by the pool with a simple smile.

How does Kairos by Nuvola work?

The technology works in tandem with a hotel’s security camera system to build a profile of each guest, opt-in required, allowing for a smoother check-in, check-out and overall guest service. With minimal training required, it can be up and running in a hotel within days.

How exactly will it ‘expedite and personalise the guest’s experience’?

Hotels with the new technology will be able to scan a visitor’s face upon walking in, which will then send a notification to the front desk receptionist letting them know that they have arrived and will head to their room.

Hotels can build a profile of each guest, allowing them to offer promotions, activities and room amenities based on individual needs.

Guests will be able to access their room without a key card and even check-out once their stay is complete without standing in line at the front desk. Guests will be able to use the profile created by technology as a method of authorisation for on-site dining experiences and other ‘transactional moments’ during their stay.

Why is facial recognition a useful innovation for hotels?

By opening the lines of communication to allow for an efficient, effective and secure method of making, receiving and completing service requests throughout each guests’ visit, hotels can provide better customer service.

Today’s digital environment requires quick response times for guests and easy-to-use digital assistance for staff – this new software does both. With a solution such as Kairos by Nuvola, hotels will now be able to use facial recognition to their advantage through customising it to fit their service offerings and create an even better guest experience.

What do you think guest-uptake will be like? Is it voluntary?

Whether or not a guest participates in Kairos by Nuvola at hotels is completely up to each traveller.

Upon booking, they will receive a notification that details what the technology will be used for and asking if they would like to participate.

If a guest specifies that they would not like to use facial recognition software, then they are able to move forward with their stay as planned.

The new technology has been created as an optional solution for a better overall guest experience. Those not wishing to use are fully able to opt-out.

What do you think people’s concerns will be regarding privacy? Are you worried guests will feel spied on?

Guests who do not opt into using Kairos by Nuvola during their stay will not have this software used on them. This will be a purely optional choice for guests at each hotel they stay at, ensuring their privacy is secure and that no one is meant to feel uncomfortable.

A major point in the development of Kairos by Nuvola has been to create a smoother guest journey. Those who do not wish to access the new technology during their travels do not have to.

Those who do begin using Kairos by Nuvola during their stay at hotels that have deployed the technology, can rest assured that the solution has been designed with layered security capabilities to protect each guest. The facial recognition software works to enhance security aspects through name and face requirements for access.

How will you protect people’s biometric data?

As with all Kairos products, personally identifiable information is not used, and any face template data created cannot be reverse engineered. For businesses needing to keep all data in house we offer an ‘on-premises solution’.

How long do you think it will be until the technology is implemented in hotels?

The hospitality industry is consistently looking for new and innovative technologies that will work as a way to ease daily task management within a property, while simultaneously assisting staff in creating the best guest experience possible.

Facial technology is the next step into the future of providing a more secure and personalised guest experience. Hotels that take advantage of this new technology will be recognised as pioneers in innovation.

What other uses do you foresee for it in the travel arena?

We foresee this technology being used at hostess, valet and bell stands within the hospitality industry, before eventually leading up to when facial recognition software will be used for posting charges to the guest folio/bill.

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