Automated Hotel was a startup idea that I worked on, which aimed to bring the hotel guest experience to the 21st century.
Booking a hotel room is a completely digital experience now, but the moment you step inside a hotel room you go back to the Stone Age.
Think about this for example, outside a hotel room how often do you order food by making a phone call?
What I wanted to achieve was to provide a digital device such as a tablet for each guest that would allow them to place requests and manage their stay directly from the device. The hospitality industry hasn’t been adapting to the current digital age very well, and when a competitor such as Airbnb or Booking.com comes in, they are easily disrupted.
In one of his tweets, Paul Graham once said: “I wonder if it has even once occurred to the hotel industry to fight Airbnb by improving their services instead of through legislation?”, and I completely agree with that statement. So, I decided this was a good opportunity.
I thought that digitizing the guest experience would help hotels tri-fold:
- It would allow them to –hopefully ethically– collect data on their guests’ preferences.
- It would allow them to promote services to their guests and up-sell services in a much faster, customized manner.
- It would automate their operations and potentially allow them to require fewer staff.
Unfortunately, I was only able to bring this only an MVP state, as I wasn’t able to find a co-founder in Bahrain, and onboarding hotels was an extremely tough job at a small island in the Middle East.
In this project, I used Rails 5 for the back-end and React Native for the tablet application.