The Montcalm London Marble Arch pioneers use of Google Glass for staff

UK: Luxury West End property The Montcalm London Marble Arch is the first hotel in the capital to train its staff to use Google Glass.

UK: Luxury West End property The Montcalm London Marble Arch is the first hotel in the capital to train its staff to use Google Glass.

The five-star property is giving its guest experience managers pioneering training in the use of the cutting-edge technology so they are able to offer guests advice on local restaurants, shops, travel plans, attractions and activities, or simply to give directions.

By using Google Glass, staff will be able to engage better with their guests, maintaining eye contact and a natural dialogue while accessing information, rather than having to keep looking down at a screen. It also frees them from the restrictions of being based behind a desk – removing a physical barrier between them and the guest.

Google Glass, which became available in the UK in late June, is still at a prototype stage. It is marketed as a hands-free alternative to smart phones and tablets. It features a transparent display that creates the illusion of a 60 centimetre screen floating about 2.5 metres in front of the wearer’s right eye, which can be used to display information from apps. A built-in camera and microphone can record photos, video and audio, while the device can play back audio by sending vibrations through the wearer’s skull using a bone conduction transducer, or via traditional headphones.

The new technology has a multitude of possible applications in the hospitality sector, and The Montcalm will be at the cutting edge of the advances, with plans already in place to introduce Google Explorer packages, enabling the hotel’s guests to use Google Glass while they are at the property. The hotel is also planning to sync the guest Explorer Package with its in-room iPads, enabling guests to order room service and control the in-room technology using Google Glass.

Rahul Arora, managing director of Luxury Hotels Group, who led the training, said: “The Montcalm London Marble Arch is always looking to be at the cutting edge of guest services and technology, and the use of Google Glass is a great way to combine the two. It’s early days for Google Glass in the UK, and we are excited to be a pioneer in our industry. As a wider selection of suitable apps becomes available, the staff here at The Montcalm will be the first in the hotel sector to use them. It’s great fun for the staff to use and a real talking point among the guests, encouraging interaction between guests and staff.”

“The basics of providing a great hospitality experience don’t change – our staff are knowledgeable, friendly and courteous, but by using Google Glass we are enabling them to provide an extra dimension to an immaculate service,” added Arora.

Guest experience manager Janine Mallia, one of the first members of staff at The Montcalm to receive Google Glass training, said: “It’s been a really good experience learning how to use this new technology. It’s fun to use and by having so much information literally right in front of our eyes, we will be able to offer our guests an even better service.”

The use of Google Glass by hotel staff was one of the Boutique Hotel News top trends for 2014.

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