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Hotel of the future – a chance to learn

Fraunhofer IAO and partners are putting a FutureHotel lab in the field

Together with its partners in the FutureHotel joint research project, Fraunhofer IAO is busy building a hotel of the future.

The new Hotel Schani in Vienna is scheduled to open its doors in fall 2014 and will serve as a practical field lab, testing the suitability of the latest offers and services in a working hotel environment. Hotel guests elsewhere will soon get the chance to participate in a survey and their responses will help shape the new venture.

Led by Fraunhofer IAO, the FutureHotel joint research project has been tackling the key questions surrounding the hotel of the future since 2008. The project’s current research phase is focusing on developing new, groundbreaking solutions for making reservations, checking in and out, the lobby and the rooms themselves. These solutions will then be put through their paces and adapted flexibly as part of the day-to-day running of the Hotel Schani.

In developing solutions that are both market-ready and visionary and that suit all hotel guests – regardless of whether their stay is based around business or pleasure – Fraunhofer IAO has enlisted the help of hotel experts from HRS. “We are thrilled to have support from our partner HRS in carrying out this exciting project in which theory meets practice,” says Vanessa Borkmann, director of the FutureHotel project at Fraunhofer IAO.

“Advances in technology, and an associated increase in people’s mobility, will change the very nature of the travel industry. Today’s travelers expect services that offer them simplicity and flexibility when planning a trip and deciding what to do once they reach their destination. This makes our collaboration with Fraunhofer IAO a perfect partnership for developing state-of-the-art solutions that are not only commercially viable, but also visionary,” adds Björn Krämer, Director of Mobile & New Media at HRS.

The next step for the FutureHotel project partners will be to determine which innovations travelers would like to have available when booking and staying at a hotel. A comprehensive survey of hotel guests is about to get underway and their responses are to be used to help design of Vienna’s new hotel.

Benedikt Komarek, manager of the Hotel Schani, says: “In addition to running our hotel, from the end of 2014 we will also be working with HRS and Fraunhofer IAO to road test new groundbreaking solutions. We are delighted at the prospect of this collaboration and to be pioneering this new territory.”

Vanessa Borkmann | Fraunhofer IAO
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