How can cruise lines offer a better user experience to their customers through digitization?

In general, cruise-based vacations offer good value for the money and are convenient for social and family groups looking to vacation together in a small space. Most importantly, cruise tourism can provide a perfect boost to other tourist industries while providing access to large numbers of visitors to more distant and outlying locations that might otherwise find it difficult to draw them in.

By 2027, revenues for cruise ship companies are expected to reach around $57 billion. With these numbers, it is all the more astonishing that, aside from the operating equipment of the vessels, relatively little has been done to bring outstanding technology breakthroughs on board.  

Cruise businesses must accept the possibilities of digitization in order to satisfy the requirements and desires of travelers who are aware of and appreciate the ease offered by technology in other aspects of their life and to remain competitive in the market. Let’s look at some of the solutions on offer for cruise lines to improve their customer experience.

Understand guest preferences

Cruise companies should embrace data and analytics more than ever to develop a customization engine that allows passengers control over several touch points throughout their sailing experience. These engines can learn from, record, and let staff respond to preferences right away based on passenger behavior. To better understand the client experience, provide offers that are specific to them, and promote pertinent content, brands may gather comprehensive data.

When it comes to entering a guest room for maintenance, communicating with all passengers at once, or obtaining individual medical information in an emergency, crew members appreciate the efficiency that technology brings.

An inventive digital system can operate in the background as customers enjoy the event at their own pace. Cruise lines frequently utilize mobile, cloud, machine learning, and data analytics to build a layered digital infrastructure to segment passengers and identify each visitor as an individual in order to tailor every part of a passenger’s schedule.

Focus on IoT

There is no doubt that the potential for IoT in cruise ship technology is enormous. Here are just a few potential applications:

  • Mobile applications make it easier for customers to research, schedule, and organize events.
  • Using their smart devices, passengers may place food and drink orders using onboard location services. 
  • While crew members are made aware of any specific dietary sensitivities or allergies, they may also deliver right to the guest’s location.
  • With facial recognition and passenger counts, artificial intelligence, algorithms, and machine learning hasten boarding.
  • Wearables assist with contact tracking and contactless tasks, including gateway administration, payment, and cabin access.

For user experience to be driven and exclusive, hyper-personalization needs a whole stack of networking, software, applications, and business analytics. Cruise lines must solve the problems of creating future-proof technologies or upgrading existing systems with new technology to accomplish this.

Digitalization is spreading throughout the world, and it will change how personnel operate and how passengers travel on cruise ships. However, consumer expectations are increasing almost as quickly as the market can respond to them. Modern ships like those deployed in recent years are merely the first stage, despite their state-of-the-art new technology.

Check out netTALK Maritime’s innovative technology in the form of our passenger and crew health monitoring application!

How are communication applications helping the hospitality industry?

The ideal way to support various businesses with technology in a post-COVID world to guarantee public safety has been a topic of much discussion. One such sector is hospitality, where management teams are challenged with figuring out how to make travelers feel at ease once more as we wait for extensive vaccination delivery.

It is evident that in 2022, touch-free, digital interactions will remain crucial components of the visitor experience in the hospitality industry. According to a Skift and Oracle Hospitality poll, digital messaging services, contactless payments, and digital room keys are the top three amenities that make hotel guests feel more at ease.

Incorporating new floor plans into touch-free digital signage that can be accessible through QR codes on individual devices, automated temperature readings, AR applications, and more are all ways that digital signage, wayfinding, and other communication technologies may be used to serve these demands.

Let’s dive into how these applications can be applied in various settings to help the hospitality industry accommodate its customers to its fullest potential in the coming years.

The easy check-in process

Building entrance points has long been a crucial component of hospitality operations, but since COVID-19, there are new difficulties in maintaining the safety of both visitors and staff while delivering a smooth service. Technologies for access control—that have been developed expressly to stop the spread of viruses—are providing new and easy methods to regulate and keep an eye on who enters a place.

The most recent implementations of access control technology include virtual receptionists and check-in kiosks with surveys and questionnaires, such as CDC recommendations. When a guest enters a hotel or climbs aboard a cruise ship and approaches a check-in kiosk, a virtual guest relations staffer may greet them and guide them through the check-in process or answer any queries they may have without having to make physical contact.

A seamless network for workers

Cruise ship hospitality services are essential to ensuring that passengers can unwind while still having easy access to their favorite activities while on board. The people who run the bars, clubs, restaurants, and shops are called hospitality employees, and how well they get along with one another might determine whether cruise passengers are pleased or not. 

Hospitality staff may communicate about things like scheduled activities, theme evenings, service hours, and the availability of meals, snacks, and drinks via their employee mobile app. When customers have inquiries, staff members may immediately obtain answers using their applications as opposed to more traditional contact channels like regular phones.

Help guests find their way around

Static maps and signs, which are challenging, expensive, and time-consuming to update, have now been replaced with more modern building wayfinding systems. To guarantee that a visitor is kept informed and involved in a cutting-edge technology experience during their visit, high-resolution digital signage can now be updated in real-time and offered with voice or mobile control choices to minimize physical touchpoints.

Future accessibility of hotel properties will also depend on augmented reality (AR) technologies. For instance, a visitor might approach a digital sign with built-in wayfinding, scan the map with a QR code, access the most direct or necessary route (i.e., one-way traffic only to reduce physical touchpoints), and with augmented reality capabilities, receive step-by-step directions through their smartphone’s camera.

For more information on innovative technologies in the hospitality industry, check out our selection of blogs on the topic!

Sailing in times of viruses: how does telemedicine on board work?

For seafarers and ship operators, injuries and illnesses on board ships are a harsh but inevitable reality. Immediate medical assistance is typically restricted to the first aid skills of the crew, the supplies in the ship’s medicine cabinet, and the instructions provided by the International Medical Guide For Ships and the associated Medical First Aid Guide for Use in Accidents Involving Dangerous Goods (MFAG) or whatever other reference books are transported on board. However, this is not always the case for some passenger ships that require licensed doctors on board.

Several services already provide a cutting-edge telemedicine service for ships, although commercial ship penetration is still a long way off. The service providers, or maybe facilitators, come from a variety of backgrounds. Some medical professionals work for free or with donations, whereas others are equipment suppliers. 

netTALK is one of the companies at the forefront of advancing medical assistance on cruise ships. The crew and passengers can download a mobile app from netTALK Maritime to track their vital signs on their phones. It securely transmits data from network-enabled, medically approved electronic health monitoring devices using end-to-end encryption and alerts the medical staff when findings are aberrant. Managing vital signs from persons who are under quarantine is much easier thanks to this feature.

Let’s dive into the various areas where telemedicine is developing in the shipping industry and how it functions on board.

Wearable Tech and Contact Tracing

The shipping industry has been vital in progressing the latest contact-tracing solutions, particularly in wearable tech. This enables health authorities to get ahead of COVID-19 outbreaks much faster than at the onset of the pandemic in 2020. Officials on board can send notifications to guests who have potentially had contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive. 

Although wearable technology has long been utilized in hospitals, the hospitality sector has just started to realize its full potential. Some smart wristbands are being used to address other purposes, such as onboard communication, in addition to being a location analytics tool and digital wallet/keycard. Several significant cruise lines utilize our technology to store passenger medical information and as an instant messaging platform so that all passengers may receive wireless communications while at sea.

Supplies and Medical Administration

One issue that can occasionally be neglected or ineffectively managed is ensuring the ship’s medical chest is adequately stocked with current medications. A workable option is a service like the ShipMed Safety System provided by the Norwegian business Medi3. The vessel is kept many steps ahead of current compliance standards thanks to value-added services and the cloud-based software system, which guarantees regulatory compliance at all times.

To provide the medical staff in charge of the medical institution a stronger sense of control and peace of mind, it also contains medical supplies, log and buying reports, to-do lists, and a separate report on drugs. Additionally, the system offers films displaying various medical treatments as well as fast references for the medical equipment required for certain ailments.

There’s no doubt that the COVID pandemic has increased the use of remote medical aid on land while at the same time drawing attention to the difficulties experienced by seafarers who may have previously been denied access to off-shore services. Further examination via video connection, for example, can hopefully be adapted for marine usage when we know more about its effectiveness.

By: netTALK Maritime 

Innovations That Improve Connectivity at Sea

There is no doubt that technology is causing the tide to turn in the sea of maritime communications, altering the commercial environment for stakeholders within the industry. Companies in the marine sector must adopt these new technologies if they don’t want to fall behind their rivals. 

IoT, robotic shipping, and AI advancements will all be crucial in the near future, emphasizing robust, quick communication at sea. Let’s outline the connected marine tech sure to make a huge impact in the coming years.

IoT for Container Sensors

Most of us are familiar with the concept of The Internet of Things (IoT), whereby connected devices share information to provide insight. Many ship companies already use IoT in some way or another, often through sensors and remote monitoring. 

Communication service providers often encourage the use of third-party applications on their platforms—a clear example of this comes from Inmarsat’s Fleet Data solution. The ship operators may rapidly gather data from onboard sensors using this bandwidth-inclusive IoT technology, transfer the data to a secure cloud-based platform, and communicate with third-party application developers.

Various Uses for Robots

According to the Global Marine Technology Report 2030, three new types of robots will be used aboard ships by 2030. The first is a learning robot that will base its judgments on the information it gathers from numerous sensors located around the ship. The second robot will help transport physical goods about the ship, and the third will be a small robot that may be used for inspections in challenging or hazardous conditions.

While each robot will perform very similar functions to sensors or remote controls, they will all utilize a ship’s connectivity to work properly. This can be accomplished by having a person onboard or ashore manage the robot, or it might be as simple as relaying data to each robot so they can operate.

Augmented and Virtual Reality Developments

In recent years, both big engine makers in the shipping industry, MAN Energy Solutions and Wärtsilä, have started using VR simulator training for their engineers. This allows engineers to receive training on products that are not physically present but have the potential to be used on ships and in training facilities.

Elsewhere the ABB group now has an “Ability Remote Insights service”. This means that service technicians will now be guided through various tasks by an augmented reality interface that features remote control, screen sharing, and document sharing. According to ABB, the solution will speed up response times and lengthen asset lifecycles in addition to enhancing the speed and efficiency of specialists operating in remote areas.

Securing dependable and steady connections for marine activities is now more critical than ever. It will fuel innovations in the marine sector today and in the future and aid maritime businesses in maintaining their competitiveness both on and ashore.

In terms of innovations, AR, in particular, has the potential to alter maintenance and emergency help since shipside users simply need to be there physically, while shoreside professionals give the expertise and knowledge. IoT will continue to be crucial for using sensors across all of a ship’s departments. Finally, Robots could become ubiquitous aboard vessels in the coming years, enabling advanced sensors and transporting.

By: netTALK Maritime 

How netTALK Maritime Revolutionized the Cruise Ship Telecom Game

In the so-called post-Covid era, tourists, travelers, and cruise ship passengers have grown accustomed to digital and ‘contactless’ services. They aren’t new to the hospitality, tourism, and travel industries but were pushed to the fore during and immediately after the pandemic. The ‘human touch’ in customer service is now viewed by many as a risk of exposure to Coronavirus, and it’s a risk that increasing numbers of cruise ship passengers were not willing to take.

Amid this backdrop, the popularity of the contactless experience skyrocketed. Face-to-face interaction will likely decline in many areas in favor of mobile app check-ins, contactless payments, virtual queuing, virtual front desk services, and biometric access. In the hospitality industry, the contactless experience has become synonymous with safety and security.

But what happens to the contactless experience when a cruise ship is out on the high seas, and internet access – and indeed intra-ship communications – is spotty at best? In general, cruise ships can suffer from all manner of communication problems while on the open ocean, especially when it comes to a strong, stable internet connection that is open to all passengers and crew.

On most cruise ships, the internet connection, internet-based communications, and telephone calls must make the journey to space to ping off an orbiting satellite, then head back to earth – a cell tower on land, to be exact – before finally being sent back to the ship. With such inefficient communication, even sending a simple text message between two people on board the ship can be costly, assuming the message goes through. With so many factors in play, there is a lot that can go wrong.

We live in an interconnected world, and cruise ship passengers expect to be able to video chat, email, share photos, and videos, make calls and send and receive text messages, even if they’re on a large moving vessel on the high seas. When maritime communication doesn’t live up to their expectations, cruise ship passengers can become anxious and feel as though they are cut off from their friends and family back on land.

Additionally, intermittent ship-wide communication can negatively impact a crucial revenue stream. Cruise lines need to communicate with their passengers wherever they are on the ship, not just in their rooms. If operators don’t have a reliable connection, the opportunity to upsell and offer in-app purchases to their guests is lost.

The netTALK Maritime Difference

It was for these reasons that Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) approached netTALK Maritime in the hopes of solving these issues. netTALK Maritime, a telecommunications company specializing in maritime communications, presented a solution to help NCL improve their ship- and worldwide connectivity while out at sea.

netTALK Maritime’s telecommunications technology was built into NCL’s Cruise Norwegian mobile phone application, which allowed passengers of the Norwegian Bliss cruise ship to automatically connect to the ship’s onboard wifi network. With the solution in place, the ship’s guests could stay in touch with their friends and family on board, and make in-app purchases and dining reservations, and sign up for on-ship events, entertainment, and book short onshore excursions. Through the NCL app, guests on board the Bliss could pay a nominal fee to make outbound calls to both landline and mobile phones in nearly every country in the world.

As a result of the solution, NCL saw passenger communications package sales shoot up by 26 percent. The cruise lines mobile app with embedded netTALK Maritime technology was such a success that NCL decided to deploy the solution to its entire fleet of 17 ships. In 2018, it was estimated that at least 1.5 million NCL passengers were engaging with the app each year. That number has only grown in successive years.

To learn more about netTALK Maritime’s telecommunications solutions, visit our homepage by clicking here

Wearable Tech: Moving from Health Tracking to a Better Cruise Experience

We all know the heavy toll that the Covid-19 pandemic took on the travel and tourism industry in general, and the cruise ship industry in particular. The cruise industry took a hit in terms of revenue, and the negative health impacts it had on both passengers and hospitality employees. But thankfully, things are finally turning a corner. Bookings have seen a resurgence, and so have the share prices of some of the biggest cruise operators.  

The worst of the pandemic is behind us, but the Covid-19 virus continues to be a problem, especially in places where people tend to congregate. Vaccinations have helped, but it is still incumbent upon cruise lines to manage the risk of a potential outbreak on their cruise ships by enhancing health protocols.

The industry has been at the forefront of leveraging the latest contact-tracing solutions, most notably in wearable technology. With this solution in place, health authorities aboard cruise ships are able to monitor Covid-19 outbreaks much better. Ship officials can issue notifications to guests who may have had contact with an infected person, allowing them to isolate themselves in their rooms without the entire ship having to endure a vacation-ruining lockdown.

For such a health protocol to be effective, each passenger and crew member must have a wearable device – like a smart wristband, for example – while on board a cruise ship. The wearable device keeps track of a person’s movements and their contacts with others in a certain area at a certain time. If someone falls ill with Covid-19-like symptoms, the data that their wearable device has collected helps health authorities narrow down who might have been exposed to the virus as well. These devices, used in conjunction with video surveillance and analytics software, can be deployed to enhance the effectiveness of contact tracing.

From Health Tracking to Enhancing UX

Wearable technology on cruise lines goes far beyond health screening and contact tracing. It’s also being leveraged to enhance the passenger experience. Some cruise lines have outfitted their ships with thousands of sensors that operate over next-gen Near Field Communication (NFC) networks. Guests are offered NFC-connected smart wristbands (usually at a cost of $5) that allow them to make onboard payments, access areas reserved for exclusive members/VIPs, keep tabs on their family members’ location, and unlock their cabin doors.

Anyone who’s taken a cruise knows what a hassle the pre-boarding process can be. To mitigate the long lines and wait times at terminals, many cruise lines now offer a ‘mobile boarding’ feature via their smartphone app. This allows for a smoother boarding process, eliminates the need for an army of reception staff, and allows cruise ship employees to focus on other tasks. 

Wearable technology has long been used in hospitals but has only begun to reach its full potential in the hospitality industry. Aside from being a location analytics tool and digital wallet/keycard, some smart wristbands are being deployed to meet other needs, such as onboard communication. A few major cruise lines use our technology as a depository of a passenger’s medical records, and an instant messaging device, so cruise operators can send wireless communications at sea to all passengers.

Wearable technology has had a big impact on the cruise line industry, and is likely to become more ubiquitous across the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors as customers demand more convenience and a personalized experience. So what’s next in the world of wearable tech? We can expect the big cruise operators to explore new ways to leverage technology to engage with their passengers, as they aim to add value and heighten satisfaction in the cruise vacation experience.


Telehealth Technologies For The Maritime Industry

It has always been challenging to offer adequate healthcare to those who work aboard ships because of the natural challenges posed by a huge moving vessel. Due to the absence of medical personnel on board, their lack of medical expertise, and the scarcity of medical supplies, seafarers are particularly vulnerable compared to those back on shore.

One of the strongest allies for the cruise industry during the pandemic has been contact-tracing technology. These services can help prevent incidents by providing contact tracking and streamlining conversations. By simply utilizing an app on their phone, travelers have been able to check-in, open doors, turn on lights, control room temperature, communicate with front desk staff, wait in line, and much more. And that’s not all—the same app can track those who have had close contact with a contagious visitor or crew member so that they can be tested and isolated if required.

With the COVID-19 pandemic no longer at the very forefront of cruise ships’ minds, other technologies are receiving the attention of cruise operators. Effective use of contemporary communication and remote medical technologies is essential for mariners. Expert medical systems are one of the technologies with the quickest growth in the field of information and communication technology (ICT). A Telemedical Maritime Assistance Service (TMAS) is one of the most important evolving technologies to ensure that crew and passengers can be properly attended to. 

Let’s dive into two burgeoning technologies which could be crucial in attending to the healthcare needs of guests and crew members.

Contactless vital-sign health screening

netTALK Maritime recently released a mobile app that can be downloaded on the phones of the crew and passengers to monitor their vital signs. It uses end-to-end encryption to securely transmit data from network-enabled, medically authorized electronic health monitoring devices, and notifies the medical team in the presence of abnormal results. This function is handy for managing vital signs from quarantined individuals.

A digital onboard screening process can aid in monitoring the following:

  • Heart rate – noninvasive pulse reading and rhythm
  • Breathing rate – noninvasive respiration rate and rhythm
  • Body temperature – core temperature fever detection
  • Blood oxygen – SpO2 oxygen saturation

How does a TMAS system work?

Due to their potentially inadequate medical understanding, ship captains or officers in charge of providing onboard medical aid often find it challenging to accurately characterize their crew’s symptoms or injuries. Thanks to technological improvements, a TMAS doctor may now do an evaluation in person while not aboard. The TMAS doctor would ask various questions to get a preliminary diagnosis that will be used to select the best course of action. Digital tools elevate telemedicine to a new level by being able to take photographs of the skin, ears, and eyes, observe exterior lesions, monitor progress, and record vital signs.

The reality is that even though cruise ships designed for hospitality will have medically-trained doctors on board, this is not always the case for other ships. Although there may be crew members on board with first aid or healthcare training, their medical skills may also be limited. With TMAS’ being in place, crew members can perform any clinical efforts over the watchful eye of a qualified doctor.

To learn more about telehealth screening and onboard services, head over to netTALK Maritime’s homepage, where graphics outline exactly how the process works.


Could China Overtake the US in The Cruising Market?

China’s burgeoning cruise ship market is no secret—huge cruise companies such as Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, and other cruise lines have spent the last ten years trying to break into The Red Dragon’s market. Those efforts paid off big time, with passenger loads quickly increasing until the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, halting the business. However, it has also leveled the playing field—the US cruise ship market declined from 13 billion US dollars to around one billion from 2019 to 2021.

Furthermore, In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States’ GDP declined by 2.3% in 2020, while China’s expanded by almost exactly the same amount. And according to experts, the disparity indicates China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy a few years sooner than expected. Considering China’s general economic strength and its thriving cruise ship development, it makes a heady cocktail that could challenge other global superpowers in the sector.

With the development of the world’s longest high-speed railway network and a home-built jumbo aircraft, China has made great strides in transport development. The government is now looking at huge cruise ships as the next step in its high-end manufacturing plans. Let’s examine how they plan to do this and what it means for the rest of the world.

State-of-the-art voyages

In October last year, the state-owned China Merchants Group sent out a 930-passenger ship on a unique voyage—it was the first-ever five-star luxury ship dedicated solely to the Chinese market. This marked a clear statement of intent to harness the public’s growing interest in cruise ship travel. 

Despite intermittent lockdowns, the government also opened up inland waterways for cruises throughout the pandemic. Cruises in the Yangtze River have proved popular among national tourists with no option for international travel. In the first half of 2021, just over 2000 cruises went down the river, and with ticket prices surging to match the demand, they have been a very successful venture.

Emerging technologies

As a result of the successful deployment of multiple cruises along the Yangtze River, a 100-meter-long, electric cruise ship was launched along the same river earlier this year. The cruise ship, dubbed “Yangtze River Three Gorges 1”, can haul 1,300 passengers and is entirely powered by 7.500 kWh of batteries—the equivalent of roughly 100 electronic vehicles. The manufacturers claim it is the first ship of its kind because it is charged using hydropower from the Three Gorges Dam, meaning it is supposedly the first truly “zero-emissions” cruise ship in the world. 

From the initial voyage, the range was relatively short—only around 100km. So clearly, there is a long way to go before we can see electric cruises taking many passengers on international vacations. However, the 100km accounts for just the equivalent of 530 tons of fuel which would amount to 1,660 fewer tons of emissions each year.

China’s top-level government’s dedication to developing new and innovative cruise ships has allowed state-owned enterprises to make huge strides. With investments from some of the biggest players in the industry (Carnival and Royal Caribbean) and a growing economy, China can expect to maintain its challenge to the US in the cruise industry in the coming years.

For more analysis of current cruise ship trends, check our other netTALK Maritime blogs!


Basics of Marine Communications

Contrary to popular belief, the cruising industry is not slow to embrace new technologies. And the improvement of marine communications over the years is a testament to that. As early as 1899, ships were able to send wireless messages to shore via radio. In those days, ship-to-shore messages were sent using morse code. The 1970s ushered in the era of satellite communications for shipping, and there have been lots of developments in marine communications ever since.

While there’s a lot to unravel, this post explains the basics of marine communications and the journey from the past to the present.

Systems and Networks: The Satellite Story

The marine industry embraced satellite technology immediately so it could meet the unique demands of the sector. Before then, the industry relied on radio for marine communications. While satellite and radio communications are pretty similar, satellite technology enables data transmission from a ship to the other party in any part of the globe. Radio communications have a limited range.

While many big names compete in the marine communications space, they are not fighting it out in the same market segment. There are three main satellite systems, and the players are evenly distributed across all.

Geo networks, located in orbit 35,668 km above the earth’s surface, are the most powerful type of satellite. Since they cover a wide area with their large beams, fewer GEO networks are needed to cover the same area as LEO and MEO networks.

At 800km to 1,600km above the earth’s surface, LEO networks are the closest to earth. They are small, meaning a constellation is needed to cover a wide area. LEO networks are ideal for newcomers since they are less costly. Occupying space between 5,000 and 12,000km, MEO satellites orbit at a higher altitude than LEO and lower than GEO. A constellation of 8-20 MEO satellites is needed to cover the Earth.

Regulatory Communications: GMDSS and Others

Shortly after the development of maritime communications using morse code, the maritime world saw that the solution was not perfect enough for sending a distress signal. The transmission used lights, which were not clear enough to understand the exact emergency onboard ships. That ushered in the Global Maritime Distress Safety System

GMDSS is an internationally agreed distress and radio communication safety system. It is an automated ship-to-shore communication system that uses satellites. Ships are obliged to use modern communication systems for safety purposes under GMDSS, even if they don’t use the infrastructure for welfare and commercial reasons. Today, ships rely on GMDSS to send distress signals to shore.

There are a few other regulatory communications to ensure navigational safety like AIS & LRIT, Ship Security alert system, Maritime Single Windows, etc.

Commercial Communications

Using morse code was expensive, especially because every letter was transmitted individually. To cut the expenses, the use of the Boe Code, which transmits five letters at once, was embraced. The five letters stood for sentences, and few people could decipher them.

Today, marine communications costs have dropped, and the industry has seen more reasons to communicate. That requires big data transmission and more flexible communication, leading to the popularity of commercial communications. Commercial Communications can be placed in two main categories: voyage and operational. Voyage communications handle voyage instructions, prompt of arrival contact with ports, etc. In contrast, operational communications deal more with ship-to-shore interactions like safety management, performance monitoring, etc.

With the Internet of Things, ships are getting more connected. We now have smart ships, research and training vessels, oceanographic exploration, etc. Maritime communication is experiencing a digital transformation, and there is high demand for marine-specific digital services. At the forefront of the digital shift is commercial communications.

Are you willing to get ahead of the curve by maximizing a technologically-advanced communication solution onboard? netTALK MARITIME has some solutions for you.

Innovations As Services That The Hospitality Industry Needs To Implement Right Away

Technological advancement has raised the standard across all industries, and consumers are starting to demand more than what was previously sufficient. One of the most affected industries is the hospitality sector, where users now demand more than just fully air-conditioned rooms and yummy foods. Modern hotels, for example, are appealing to customers in different ways, including having a futuristic design, increasing guest satisfaction, and hotel technology.

By leveraging innovation, the hospitality industry can meet more expectations. This post explains some of the best innovations as services that can help hotels grow with the change and get set for the future.

Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

AI and Machine Learning are fast becoming an integral part of the hospitality industry. Artificial Intelligence (AI) helps hotels to understand customers’ preferences and deliver tailor-made services to them. For example, AI-powered chatbots can improve customer support by providing swift solutions at all times of the day. Hotels also do not need to hire interpreters since AI-driven chatbots can be configured to communicate in different languages.

The size of the global industrial robotics market was estimated at around $55b in 2020. Some of these robots are AI-powered, and they are reshaping the hospitality industry. Beyond welcoming guests and providing tourist information, some AI-driven hotel robots can engage in activities like vacuum cleaning and luggage transportation.

Generally, AI-powered solutions are likely to change many things in the hospitality industry in the not-so-distant future. And hotels that start utilizing them now will have a headstart by then.

Biometrics Technology For Security And More

The global biometric authentication and identification market is expected to reach almost $100b by 2027. That does not come as a surprise since many industries rely on biometric technology for improved security and efficiency. In the hospitality industry, using face recognition and fingerprint ID will improve not only security but also customer experience.

By using biometric technology, hotels can implement a fast check-in process. This makes it possible for guests to book a room on their mobile app and get access to it by scanning their faces upon arrival. Also, this innovation can improve keyless entry, solving the headache of lost or deactivated key cards. What about a contactless biometric payment terminal? A solution that registers the guest’s face after the first payment and remembers their preferences for more personalized services.

Virtual Reality Tours

While augmented reality and virtual reality may still be in their infancy, the hospitality industry is already incorporating them into daily processes. Hotels can create augmented environments using augmented reality, giving staff members everything they need to manage guests effectively. Also, AR can be incorporated into the rooms by placing maps for additional information when users point a smartphone at them.

One of the most common uses of VR is virtual tours. Best experienced through headsets, potential guests can walk around the hotel and even take a look at their hotel room before booking. If made available on a hotel website, it could be what influences potential guests to book rooms.

Offering Cutting-edge Payment Solutions

Guests do not want to spend up to a minute making payments anymore. Therefore the hospitality industry has started implementing faster and safer payment methods. Perhaps the most debated is blockchain technology for payments. Through blockchain technology, payments are encrypted and processed in real-time. Not only does it prevent data theft, but it offers seamless integration between tax, payment, and accounting.

Furthermore, COVID 19 changed the demands of many consumers. Guests want to avoid contact with people and objects as much as possible. Implementing contactless payment solutions will make guests feel safer and happier.

5G is becoming a blessing to the hospitality industry. With superfast websites and software, the industry can deliver better services to guests. By implementing faster payment methods, virtual tours, AI-powered personalization, etc., guests will get more satisfaction, and the hospitality industry will grow bigger.

Are you willing to get ahead of the curve by maximizing a technologically-advanced communication solution onboard? netTALK MARITIME has some solutions for you.