January 11, 2017
Panasonic and IBM Watson are working on a new way to improve the traveling experience for consumers with a digital concierge service that lets them access all hotel services from a unique cloud-based service.
The partnership is still in its early phases. The two will also work on a separate mobile app that will allow consumers to interact with digital signage through their phones.
“Panasonic has identified a need for this and several other kinds of connected solutions in the hospitality industry,” said Yasuji Enokido, president of Panasonic Corporation’s AVC Networks Company. “Working with IBM, we plan to further implement our connected solutions vision while making use of Watson intelligence to provide end-users with more natural cognitive functionality as well as richer feature sets.”
Mobile has already made its mark as an important part of the travel world. Airlines and hotels alike have had much success from bringing many of their services to mobile devices, giving consumers an easy, personal way to make all their travel decisions.
There are a host of other industries and services that mobile can help streamline and unify, but travel is one of the major fields where mobile is having that effect.
Soon, another player will be entering the world of travel. Panasonic and IBM are working together to bring a digital concierge service to hotel guests around the world.
The service will live in a special mirror in a guest’s room that will allow them to access all of the standard concierge services they expect from one digital location.
The two companies are also working on another mobile application called LinkRay which would let consumers interact with digital signage on their phones.
For example, if consumers saw a LinkRay-enabled billboard advertising promo codes for a local diner, they could point their phone at it and receive the code beamed directly to their phone.
Taken in concert, these two programs are meant to streamline the travel experience for consumers both in the hotel and out on the town in which they are visiting.
IBM may seem like an unlikely candidate to be bringing a smart mobile solution to the travel industry, but the company has been leveraging it Watson AI technology for a number of brand partnerships over the past few years.
Most recently, IBM partnered with Staples to bring Watson’s AI technology to improving the brand’s mobile ordering flow (see story).
Now, IBM is continuing the tradition of using its AI to enhance consumer-facing products with its partnership with Panasonic.
Once the Digital Concierge rolls out to a larger audience, both LinkRay and the concierge may prove to be an example for other members of the travel industry to improve their offerings.
“IBM Watson gets to truly know the individual and provides highly personalized experiences and recommendations,” said Bruce Anderson, Global Managing Director, IBM Electronics Industry. “Together with Panasonic we are bringing the power of cognitive to the hospitality industry to introduce a new level of customer service and further brand loyalty.”