A 20/20 glass amenity

Acme Hotel Chicago and the Stanford Court San Francisco are ahead of the curve as they loan Google Glass devices to guests interested in the wearable tech still causing a media frenzy.

The Acme property invested in two Glass devices (which run in the proximity of US$1,500 each), which are offered on a complimentary basis to guests for three-hour blocks. At the Stanford property, guests can purchase the Stanford Court Google Glass Explorer package, which starts at US$199 a night and includes a tutorial for an all-day interactive Glass loan. (On a side note, for those worried about security risks affiliated with the Glass amenity, upon return of the device, all data is cleared by a member of the staff.)

The tiny Web-connected devices (which basically resemble a pair of glasses without lenses) have the potential to become a tourist attraction on their own this summer. They can be used as a guest-friendly virtual tour guide that offers suggestions on events, places and restaurants as you explore the city.

Glass devices have additional out-of-the-box features making them ideal for the modern tech-friendly traveler who prefers to remain upright and hands free versus looking down and missing any action while tapping on a smartphone. These additional capacities include:

  • Weather information
  • Information such as maps and travel guides including nearby attractions
  • Ability to get turn-by-turn directions

Virgin Atlantic earned great raves after its recent trial where its agents used Glass to check in passengers. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is also abuzz over the device as it recently unveiled new details on its SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) app for Google Glass, which allows loyalty members to search hotels using voice commands, book rooms and get real-time GPS-enabled directions. In addition to searching hotels worldwide, guests can take a virtual tour of hotel rooms, call the hotel, look up their account information, review reservations and check their total number of points.

I tip my hat to Starwood, the Acme Hotel and Stanford Court for looking ahead and offering innovations guests are enthusiastic to try. It’s all part of the listening to consumer needs as well as sensing their desires and continuously innovating to enhance the overall travel experience.

What are your thoughts on the Google Glass amenity? As a guest, would you rent a Glass? As a hotel operator, would you consider implementing the Glass amenity?