Robobutlers, morphing hotels, choosing dreams and longevity spas, 3D printers to dial up a pair of slippers, or an iPhone? Is this really what’s in store for the the future? Futurist James Canton says so.
When travellers check into a hotel in 2060 they can expect it to be on Mars, to feature augmented reality, artificial intelligence, morphing beds, robotics, touchscreen everything, hyper connectivity and much more, as revealed by the Hotels.com® ‘Hotels of the Future’ study.
Hotels.com celebrates 25 years of accommodation expertise this year and is looking to the future by partnering with renowned futurist Dr James Canton of the Institute for Global Futures on the Hotels.com Hotels of the Future study. It uncovers how the travel and hotel experience will be different in a year, 25 years and as far ahead as 2060.
The way travellers choose a destination, book a trip, travel there and the in-stay experience will be dramatically different in the future. Hotels.com is already one of the technology leaders in the travel industry but these new forecasts see super-tech meet super-science.
Dr James Canton from The Institute for Global Futures, a leading think tank that identifies emerging consumer trends, explains: “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.
“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 fulfilment.”
Hotels.com has worked with Dr James Canton to identify the top trends for what hotels of the future will be like by 2060:
- RoboButlers – These autonomous robots can be designed online before arrival and 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 service, room makeup, companionship, education, entertainment, business advice and concierge services
- Morphing hotels made to order – This is the next generation of made to order. Hotels which self-assemble and morph from one design to another based on consumer’s votes. These crowdsourced hotels will use nanotechnology and machines that can self-assemble environments, buildings or even entire physical worlds (the Real Jurassic Park?). This could all be possible in the next 20 years.
3D Makers in every hotel room – Taking luggage on holiday will be a thing of the past. 3D Printers will transform the travel experience and specifically 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.
- Neuro-Dreaming – choose your own dream – 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 and they can choose a dream theme to either relax, enhance, learn or enjoy. Romantic adventure or space exploration?
- Pop-up hotels based on crowdsourcing – the next generation of pop up hotels will be based on special 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.
- Wellness & longevity hotel spas – The spa 2.0 – the next generation of wellness spas will be mind blowing. Gone are the days of a simple facial or massage at hotel spa. The hotel spa of the future is based on DNA analysis and promoting living longer. You will receive personalized prevention treatments, prediction and health enhancement programs designed to refresh your health, your fitness and understand your future health risks. These will use the latest genetic medicine treatment, mind refreshing drugs, brain fitness and prevent disease. Massage and mud baths will of course still be available.
Airport transfer of the future – Self-driving pods, RoboFlying cars and Hyperloop – one of the most stressful parts of any vacation is getting from the airport to your hotel. Travellers will be pleased to hear that the future of airport transfers is high tech and high speed. Future transports include self-driving pods, RoboFlying cars, which will help you avoid the traffic, and larger developments such as the HyperLoop – supersonic air travel, covering hundreds of kilometres in seconds.
- DNA mobile payments—DNA is the ultimate personal identification and will be used to confirm identify in making travel bookings and payments online. When you check into your hotel, all that will be needed is DNA fingerprints to confirm who you are and check in is complete! Long check in lines will be a thing of the past.
- My travel avatar – 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. Your Avatar will manage bookings, like a personal version of Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, they will search, design and book travel. Avatars will communicate, negotiate and design your whole travel experience – the ultimate in customer care.
- EcoHotels on the next level – Many hotels already focus on sustainability and 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. EcoHotels will also be socially aware, with products and workers all producing a positive social impact in the community.
Augmented reality hotels – Travellers will be able to stay at hotels that are part physical and 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 virtual reality. Millions of innovative scenarios will therefore be possible – an excursion to Africa or a trip Machu Picchu in Peru? Augmented reality hotels will customize the ultimate adventure, history or drama travel experience. Consumers will not just stay at a hotel and be limited to excursions locally, the hotels will transport them to fantasy worlds they can only dream of.
- Gourmet genomics in hotel restaurants – Hotel restaurants will start to feature food designed for the individual’s palate, all based on DNA analysis. Before you even arrive at your hotel, your diet and nutrition menu will be designed based on your DNA and optimized for your health. The menu is created to improve health, nutrition and fitness, but the food will still be gourmet and delicious. It will be designer food, made by top chefs but it won’t make you gain weight or ruin your diet!
- Immersive-themed hotels – Hotels in the future will have themes based on immersive worlds. Hotels will become entertainment experiences that we can only imagine today. Travellers can expect a fully interactive live event location, where the hotel is in character with in-world. Consumers could interact in real-time or by virtual reality. Imagine a Call of Duty World enabling combat gaming competitions between networked hotel communities or a Roman World with chariot races or a Renaissance World complete with costumes and customized androids, story lines, drama and action.
Inside the smart hotel room By 2060 the standard hotel room you know today will be almost unrecognizable. The room of the future will be so personalized, so smart and techy down to the last detail. Take a tour of the Smart hotel room of the future here.
Other trends for hotels of the future:
- Deep sea hotels – With over 90% of the planet under water the possibility of having customized hotel experiences underwater will be a dream for many travellers. Hotel rooms will be transformed into undersea laboratories to experience the natural beauty of nature. With so many species under the oceans, the draw of the deep sea will appeal to many travellers who want a different type of vacation.
- Out of this world space hotels—Earth orbit, lunar, and Mars colony hotels – all of these will be possible at affordable prices. In the future, it will be possible to use fusion energy to propel consumers into space and there will be the demand for millions to go on an exciting vacation to the ultimate location – out of this world!
- Voice and gesture controlled hotel rooms: Closing your hotel room curtains and getting up to switch off the light before bed will be things of the past. Your hotel room in the future will be controlled by intuition controls – you tell the TV to turn itself off and it will, you make a gesture to dim the lights and they do it. This is the ultimate personalized room experience, as the voice and gestures will download ahead of your stay.
- Virtual reality entertainment – Virtual reality entertainment is already in existence but in the near future it will be used to really enhance the travel experience. Travellers will not just go to Rome but visit and participate in authentic battles in the Coliseum or enjoy painting lessons with Leonardo Da Vinci. Even feats such climbing Mount Everest via your RoboDouble will be possible—all from the comfort of your hotel’s virtual reality media center.
- The Internet of Hotel Things – hyper-connectivity— Imagine every surface of your hotel room, every wall, product and floor, every “thing” having an Internet address. The Internet of Hotel Things (IoHT) is a very real possibility. Wearable smart phones will eventually be embedded into us, making us online all the time during travel. This hyper connectivity will improve the travel experience and be secure.
- HoloReal sports in hotels – Football or tennis will be not just a spectator sports in future but instead will have interactive viewing options. VR Play, where the consumer can watch in real-time the sports event, as if they were actually there in the stadium. Then through RoboPlay, where a robot surrogate is playing to experience and sense the game as a player on the field. Hotels will take on this trend and offer access to branded sports events where travellers can engage in these options and hotels will have exclusive HoloReal sports franchises that will attract consumers to stay at their locations.
- Hotels that think – AI —The use of Artificial Intelligence personalities, digital concierges, next generation thinking machines that will be virtual, downloading to robots, cars, rooms and devices will all be essential for the new generation of hotels. Autonomous Thinking Machines will really enhance the traveler’s experience and it’s possible they’ll be entire hotels run by AI’s, robots and tele-virtual humans in the near future.