Just take a selfie for hotel check-in

Technology on display at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday included (from far left) a delivery robot solution to automate the transport of laundry in hotels and a robotic arm that cooks eggs for guests in three minutes.
Technology on display at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday included (above) a delivery robot solution to automate the transport of laundry in hotels and a robotic arm that cooks eggs for guests in three minutes.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO
Technology on display at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday included (from far left) a delivery robot solution to automate the transport of laundry in hotels and a robotic arm that cooks eggs for guests in three minutes.
Technology on display at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday included a delivery robot solution to automate the transport of laundry in hotels and a robotic arm (above) that cooks eggs for guests in three minutes.ST PHOTOS: JONATHAN CHOO

Use of technology will help hotel industry to raise productivity and address staff shortage

Technology will get rid of paperwork when a hotel guest checks in because taking a selfie on a mobile phone app would be enough.

Such fingerprint and facial recognition technology will also help raise hotel staff productivity by freeing up their time for other tasks.

The same app will also allow the guest to enter the hotel room and control the lights, air-conditioner and television.

Developed by AI-solutions company GTRIIP, it was one of eight innovations showcased yesterday at an annual conference organised by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

The board also announced in a statement that a road map will be charted late next year for hotels to exploit technology to partly overcome the shortage of manpower.

Work on this Smart Hotel Technology Roadmap is led by STB and the Singapore Hotel Association's (SHA) Hotel Innovation Committee.

Ms Margaret Heng, SHA's executive director, said: "Nowadays, a lot more of the younger generation travel, and many use mobile phones. Many of the technologies on display use (mobile) apps."

Ms Ong Huey Hong, STB's director of hotel and sector manpower, said the idea behind the road map is to paint a vision of what a smart hotel is, regardless of size.

"We want to let hotels know all the technologies that are available and they can pick them for their own use," she added.

Among innovations on show at the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre was a robotic arm that cooks eggs for guests in three minutes, whether sunny-side up, scrambled or as an omelette.

Tech solutions for menial tasks in hotels

A collaborator of the project, Mr Ng Yu Lik, a principal lecturer at Republic Polytechnic's (RP) School of Hospitality, said the solution was developed to help hotels during breakfast.

"Four hours for a highly trained chef to just keep on cooking eggs is a waste of talent and resources," he said.

There is also a delivery robot solution to automate the transport of laundry in hotels.

Developed by dry-cleaning company Laundry Network, RP and StarHub, it takes over menial tasks such as packing and counting linen, contributing to a 15 per cent reduction in storage space.

STB will also work with Far East Hospitality Management on a four-year effort that would include the use of smart technology and artificial intelligence in hotel operations, self-check-in processes and an in-house talent grooming programme.

The group is set to open three new properties on Sentosa Island in 2019.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2017, with the headline 'Just take a selfie for hotel check-in'. Print Edition | Subscribe