Infusing the world of antiques with modern cutting edge technology is helping home rental company Onefinestay provide a rich local experience for the travellers it finds accommodation for.
The company is using iPhones and QR codes to provide guests with information about local attractions the home they are staying in and one of the way it is doing this sees Onefinestay collect information on all the art, furniture and other interesting pieces in the home.
Then it makes short videos about each piece. “One thing that we do is record either on the owner’s behalf or often with the owner involved, little videos,” said Onefinestay co-founder Greg Marsh.
“For instance, how the heating works, but also interesting stuff, like the history of a bit of artwork or a view or some other feature. These short videos are just the kind of thing you would be hearing if you were speaking with the owner. We then put (QR) barcode stickers on or next to the piece. Then you point the iPhone at the code and it starts the video.”
In this way, guests can hear the stories and history of the home they are staying in. Onefinestay also provides guests with resident’s recommendations for where to eat, what to do and where to visit locally.
All the information is stored in an iPhone provided by the company. This innovation, along with Onefinestay’s unique business model, has earned it more than just customers.
It recently received $3.7 million in series A funding from investors including Brent Hoberman, co-founder of lastminute.com, Andy Phillipps, founder of Active Hotels and Jonathan Eilian, a founding investor in Starwood Hotels.
Marsh said: “We’re excited to welcome such outstanding investors to the company and have already started working closely with them to define and execute our growth strategy and geographic expansion.”
Currently, Onefinestay only operates in London, but Marsh said they have plans to expand into European and American cities in the near future.