Starwood unveil SPG app for Google Glass to ease hotel reservations

Posted: June 16, 2014 in travel & tourism

starwood logoThe Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, parent firm for the Sheraton brand and others in Nigeria, Monday, introduced a new SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app for Google Glass. The web application is the first from a hospitality company to leverage this emerging, wearable technology platform.

The new SPG app for Google Glass empowers mobile travellers with a new view as they explore destinations and book stays at nearly 1,200 hotels worldwide. The new experience will enable guests to review their SPG account and immerse themselves in any of Starwood’s nine, design-led brands: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W, Westin, Le Méridien, Sheraton, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft, and Element®.

Creating new ways to be closer to its guests, Starwood’s new SPG app for Google Glass extends the company’s leadership and adoption of the latest digital technologies.

“Travellers are more tech-savvy than ever before, and wearable technology is the newest platform that provides information in an easy to access way to support the needs of our guests and enhance their travel experience,” said Chris Holdren, SVP SPG and Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Our goal is to explore these new technologies and learn from our guests’ interactions with them so we can continue to deliver the best experiences at every point in their journey – from when our guests are dreaming about their next destination to when they walk in our front door and beyond.”

The SPG app for Google Glass was designed and built entirely by Starwood’s internal team of tech experts with the goal of delivering a seamless experience for its guests. The app is designed to assist travellers in each stage of their journey – from imaginative destination exploration to practical logistics planning before, during, and after a visit – all within a quick, easy, and streamlined format valued by on-the-go users of wearable technology. The SPG app for Google Glass is the only Glass app currently available that enables booking a stay at any of Starwood’s hotels around the world.

The personalized interface of the SPG app for Google Glass is ideal for any Glass Explorer, whether the guest is searching for upcoming business trips or a long summer vacation. The app provides users with critical account information, including number of Starpoints and upcoming and past stays to help travellers make the most of their SPG membership.

Highlights of the newly-unveiled web application include that: The SPG app for Google Glass takes advantage of Glass’s unique features, including voice command search and geo location, and is one of the first apps built on the new Glass Developer Kit; Members can voice search Starwood’s nearly 1,200 global hotels and resorts by destination, airport code or checking what’s nearby; Members can call or get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and can also explore and share photos of the hotel amenities, rooms, local area, and more.

Other benefits are that: SPG Members can access up-to-date account information including Starpoint balance and upcoming stay details; and also that; Like the SPG smartphone and iPad apps, the SPG app for Google Glass uses state aware technology to display upcoming stays, recognize arrival at a Starwood property, and customize the user experience accordingly.

“Being the first in the hospitality industry to introduce an app for Google Glass illustrates our larger strategy to be the industry-leading digital innovator,” said Clay Cowan, VP Global Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Starwood’s agility and scope has established our brands as early tech adopters, and we plan to maintain our lead with our innovative work in the digital space.”

The release of the SPG app for Google Glass beta product allows the Google Explorer network to give direct feedback to Starwood’s design and development teams, providing deeper insight into how different channels are used and what makes them meaningful to users. This insight, coupled with the in-house tech talent, will allow Starwood to continue enhancing the SPG app for Google Glass and develop other wearable technology products that best respond to the desires of the SPG community and further cement Starwood’s reputation as a leader in digital innovation.

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