An Artificially Intelligent Hologram Could Become Your Hotel Concierge

Sunday, 01 October 2017 - 1:06PM
Technology
Artificial Intelligence
Sunday, 01 October 2017 - 1:06PM
An Artificially Intelligent Hologram Could Become Your Hotel Concierge
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As artificial intelligence continues to spread into more and more jobs, it's very likely that at some point in the near future, it'll be an AI checking you in and out of hotels. 

That AI might also have a three-dimensional head and neck, if you happen to run into a holographic concierge like the one being developed by VNTANA (an augmented reality company) and Satisfi Labs (an AI company). A relatively new "smart hologram," the translucent talking head is designed to respond to questions and give directions, restaurant recommendations, and other things that finicky tourists always manage to come up with. 

You can see the hologram in action below:



While it's a vague blue woman in the above video, the hologram can apparently take on a number of different forms. VNTANA gave an example of a sports team which might model their holographic concierge after their quarterback or star player, who'd then direct guests to their seats during games to watch the real athletes out on the field. 

The holographic aspect does add some extra appeal. While many guests may not like interacting with real people, they do tend to respond better to humanlike AIs and machines as opposed to those inside blank computer screens, so long as those humanlike appearances avoid the uncanny valley. If it can process questions from guests accurately, a holographic AI can be a good middle ground between "looks like a human being" and "not having to talk to a human being."

In a press release, VNTANA's CEO and co-founder Ashley Crowder explained the hologram's usefulness to potential clients:

Opening quote
"Our hologram technology has helped numerous brands better connect and engage with their consumers, and we are thrilled to offer this new addition on our platform. By partnering with Satisfi, we are able to integrate AI and AR for the first time, so our holograms can interact with consumers on a more advanced level, while using our trusted platform to track data to create more personalized experiences and advertising."
Closing quote

Being an AI, the hologram can also use facial recognition to track guests' behavior while they ask questions, which can help them learn what makes customers smile versus what pisses them off. And their answers will change accordingly, like any good concierge.

Either way, you should get ready to talk to holograms when checking in, because you're much more likely to see them than the weird robot dinosaur concierges that a Japanese hotel has started using. The former seems like an improvement, anyway.

And if you're curious to see some other stuff VNTANA is up to, they had some less-smart holograms on display alongside their smart hologram at San Diego Comic-Con this summer, including a sword-fighting Hook hologram from Once Upon a Time:

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