Marriott Hotels has chosen the eight start-ups shortlisted for the 2017 edition of its European accelerator programme, TestBED.
Almost 150 start-ups from 24 different countries submitted entries and technologies for consideration.
The eight shortlisted start-ups will be invited to London August 22 and 23 to pitch their solutions in front of a panel of judges.
This will include Georgie Barrat, presenter of The Gadget Show, and technology industry leaders, and senior Marriott figures.
They will decide which start-ups will enter the TestBED programme and pilot their products in one of the Marriott Hotels in Europe.
The shortlisted start-ups are:
Reward Technology – a UK start-up that has developed a digital engagement platform using smart card detection. Reward Technology offers guests personalised communication and services based on the detection of their loyalty and/or room key card.
Umbo – a US start-up that has developed a device that turns surfaces into interactive interfaces by projecting information and using gesture recognition to navigate. Umbo could be installed in guest rooms, meeting rooms and/or public spaces and allow guests to interact with content that is projected onto surfaces.
HiJiffy – a Portugal-based start-up that has created an AI powered chatbot designed for the hospitality sector. Through the use of chatbots, Marriott Hotels can offer a variety of services to its guests using Facebook Messenger at any place and time, in an effective and efficient way.
My Brain Technologies – a French start-up that has created ‘Melomind’ – a brain training headset that uses neuroscience to combat stress and anxiety to help individuals relax. ‘Melomind’ would offer guests a single stress-relief session or a personalised coaching programme that could be developed over a series of stays.
Mymanu – a UK start-up proposing ‘Click’ – wireless earbuds that offer live voice translation in 37 languages. ‘Click’ offers the ability to communicate with guests in their native language and make their interaction with Marriott associates feel more seamless and natural.
New’ee – a French start-up that has developed a device that wirelessly turns furniture into speakers, allowing guests to broadcast music without the need for speakers. New’ee could be used in guest rooms or public spaces to enable a more efficient and focused diffusion of sound.
Phaceology – a US start-up that has developed a platform enabling analysis of emotional responses in real time, to improve employee performance and customer experience. It offers the ability to track associates’ communication performance and help to improve it.
Optishower – a Portugal-based start-up that has developed smart meters to measure water and electricity consumption and the ability to provide associates and guests with analysis of usage. Marriott Hotels could use ‘Optishower’ both to reduce wastage as well as offer its guests the ability to track their own consumption and be rewarded for sustainable energy use during their stay.
Mariott said a number of trends were apparent in the application process including travel apps and concierge services being the main focus of start-ups. They accounted for over 33% of applications.
Most travel apps looked to capitalise on the growing trend for experiential travel, offering diverse solutions for travellers to discover, curate and share experiences.
Shareability was a recurring theme, with over half of the travel apps enabling travellers to share their discoveries with others.
Mobile served as the main touchpoint in a third of the applications; particularly those offering concierge services, of which two thirds were mobile first or mobile only solutions.
Several start-ups already offering online booking and mobile key solutions were looking to expand to a full-service customer journey, providing seamless experiences from booking to check-out.
Internet Of Things (IOT) and wearable technology featured in approximately 20% of the products put forward, suggesting a growing trend towards technologies that can be used ‘on the go’.
This was up on last year when IOT and wearable tech accounted for just 3% of submissions. Marriott said the adoption, implementation and widespread use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning was still early stages.