While these traditional amenities do serve their fundamental purpose, they don’t benefit the guests or the hoteliers in any other way. However, there are times these age-old goodies “backfire” and living in an age ruled by digital media; no hotel can afford that! It could be any bad experience; from guests losing their car keys or wallets in their room, to their children gaining access to pharmaceutical drugs kept in lockers or cabinets. In any scenario, the hotelier would be blamed for not fulfilling the promise of a safe and pleasant stay. In today’s digitally dominant world, a bad review can irreparably damage a hotel’s reputation. But, in their defense, what can they do? Do they have a better option to offer a secure yet luxurious accommodation that could benefit both parties?
“YES,” says Scott Ware!
As a technology specialist involved in hiring and building teams of designers and engineers for tech behemoths such as Xbox and the Microsoft Azure, travelling was the name of the game for Ware. While on duty, he used to check into top-notch hotels which lacked the options or modern interfaces to interact with the customers. Not only did this approach restrict hotels to deliver a better customer experience, but also made it hard for the hotels to collect data and enhance the guest experience. It was when he lost a luxury watch despite keeping it locked in his room at a “high-end hotel,” that an idea spurred in Ware’s mind. After many months of careful research and development, his vision became a reality—MirrorCache and SAM were born!
What’s MirrorCache? And Who is SAM?
Based out of Seattle, WA, MirrorCache is considered to be one of the most happening start-ups in the travel industry.
SAM offers incredible value, especially by integrating a “user profile” with personalized features and experiences
Ware highlights that the firm’s primary goal is to “materially improve security, peace of mind, and convenience for the travel and hospitality guest experience.”
Enter, SmartAccessMirror™! Or the as they call it, SAM; built keeping in mind the modern-day expectations of travelers who, apart from a pleasant stay seek for a secure storage amenity. SAM is an amalgamation of a cabinet, a concierge, and a media console with the appearance and aesthetics of mirror.
Safety Beyond Measure
Observing several news reports on children being taken to the ER due to accidentally ingesting their parents’ prescription medications or recreational drugs. Ware thought to himself that there had to be a better way. “It's about protecting your valuables and keeping those who you care about safe as well by not allowing them access to things they shouldn't have access to,” says Ware. His personal loss at a hotel just fueled the idea all the more and paved the way for the conception of this revolutionary product.
Unlike traditional cabinets which can easily be accessed by anyone, SAM leverages the synergistic combination of a cutting-edge touch interface and an intelligent, responsive voice assistant. And that’s not all; it can visually authenticate guests through the camera on their mobile device. “Taking into consideration the guests’ privacy, SAM does NOT come embedded with a camera,” clarifies Ware. In essence, it ensures guests the highest level of security by allowing them to store their belongings in a facility that only they can access via PIN codes, biometrics, and facial & voice recognition. Amazingly, the capabilities of SAM doesn’t end there.
A First of Its Kind Concierge
While the digitized locker safeguards the guests’ possessions, the mirror keeps them engaged. How? It interacts, just like a personal concierge. “SAM offers incredible value, especially by integrating a ‘user profile’ with personalized features and experiences,” says Ware. From ‘things to do’ to ‘what to eat’ to ‘where to go,’ the product notifies guests based on their preferences.
As it’s an IoT based device, guests can conveniently connect to services most important to them through a touch screen or a voice-enabled service such as Alexa. “We aim to complement and not compete,” says Ware. The product syncs with the existing mobility functions that the hotel might have and enables guests to monitor personal belongings, interact with hotel amenities, store and charge laptops or tablets, play music with premium audio, and even search for things and nearby places to explore.
Apart from being a reliable and entertaining digital assistant, SAM plays another vital role which has a significant impact on both the hotelier and the guest.
SAM collects data—based on users’ interaction with it— and feeds it back to the hotel’s customer relationship management system or similar tools used to store and analyze customer data. Hotels can leverage the insights from this data to gauge the guests’ likes, dislikes, interests, and much more, which paves the way for better service, thereby, building a stronger customer elation. In the event customers book hotels via online travel websites, SAM can collect the data from their profiles on those sites as well—ensuring that the hotelier has enough information and is prepared to deliver the best service to visitors.
“We offer a transformative and functional solution that seamlessly integrates with essential travel components, is placed inside a hotel room and provides prime opportunity to build a strong relationship between the hotels and guests,” says Ware.
Experience The Future—Now!
MirrorCache is partnering with a renowned theme park which will allow tourists to pre-plan their visits to the park in a personalized manner. The combined solution compels the guest to interact with the hotelier— creating a customized experience for them. Ware highlights that SAM will be tailored according to the brand such that it can provide information in a coherent and comprehensive manner to the guests.
Furthermore, hoteliers around the globe will soon get to witness and implement other variants of SAM. Coming right up is a body length mirror with a smart kit locking cabinet that can fit between the wall. The firm will also start providing a smart biometric-enabled safe for the police force and have been in conversation with many major hotel chains in the U.S. such as the Hyatt Regency, Sheraton, Pineapple Hotels and the Marriott. With an aim to eventually contribute to improving tourism, MirrorCache has also been conversing with many international entities to install the smart safes into their hotels.
So, brace yourself! Very shortly, your guests will be walking into an exceptional suite with a magical mirror right out of a fantasy world and soon enough, guests and hoteliers alike might even be able to have SAM in the comfort of their house.
March 08, 2019