Improving Customer Experiences with Facial Recognition
Facial Recognition Technology (FRT) is rapidly becoming ubiquitous in our daily lives. From cell phones to cars, facial recognition has proven to be a fast, secure, and reliable tool to improve customer experiences, including across hospitality settings. From empowering operators with data to better serve their customers, to directly creating new tech-powered experiences, facial recognition has applications for:
- Food and Beverage
- Travel and Tourism
Now, let’s break down each opportunity in-depth.
Food and Beverage:
Facial recognition allows restaurants and bars to provide customers more convenience without giving staff added pressure. For example, with customer consent, the software can store customer payment methods and loyalty memberships so that patrons don’t even need to carry a wallet to pay for food and drinks or redeem benefits at their favorite restaurants.
In addition, upon a patron’s entrance onto the premises, the software can alert wait staff that the patron typically prefers water with lemon and only orders vegetarian options. With this information in hand, wait staff can help patrons feel at ease as soon as they arrive and make more accurate dish recommendations.
Travel and Tourism:
When it comes to travel and tourism, one commodity is always in high demand but in short supply: time.
Anyone who has traveled knows the feeling of rushing to the airport to catch a flight, only to be caught in long lines for check-in and security, sometimes taking hours and causing you to miss your flight. With facial recognition, long lines at airports and cruise terminals can become a thing of the past.
For instance, facial recognition-enabled check-in processes can remove the need for travelers to remove IDs from baggage while also allowing multiple travelers to check-in at the same time, creating a new streamlined process that saves travelers precious time.
Additionally, facial recognition-enabled security processes can allow for rapid, touchless security screenings, allowing enrolled known travelers to move through security with ease and giving them the added peace of mind that their information is safe and secure.
Room keycards, which we’ve all used as consumers, carry several problems. They can easily be stolen or lost and aren’t distributed to you until arrival, binding you to the check-in desk.
Facial recognition empowers frictionless access to rooms. You can book online and, upon arrival, go directly to your room and enter via smart locks on your room door. You can also update your tab easily and touchless if you choose to use a hotel’s restaurant or spa.
This technology creates more secure environments for lodging operators and saves money spent on purchasing, maintaining, and replenishing key cards.
Learn more about how to deploy facial recognition in access control systems.
The recent Olympic Games in Tokyo are a great example of how facial recognition can improve experiences at sporting events and other recreational events, such as festivals, fairs, and concerts. Facial recognition efficiently restricted entry to secure premises to athletes and staff, even during the current pandemic and associated precautions. Using facial recognition also saved time ordinarily spent queueing, a welcome respite during Tokyo’s summer heat.
Facial recognition also provides event organizers with invaluable data surrounding the total volume of guests and their ages, genders, and emotions, helpful in facilitating planning and marketing for future events.
Key Success Factors to Deploy Facial Recognition into Hospitality Scenarios
Auditing the Deployment Environment
When designing a facial recognition system for any of the above use cases, the first step is to identify the goals and constraints of the scenario.
Let’s consider a cruise ship example. Our goals are to create a system that can increase security while facilitating more touchless options for guests, including room entry and payments, and gather data about what entertainment and recreation areas of the ship are most popular to help with planning and resourcing. In this example, the cruise ship currently uses an access card system for guest rooms and has numerous camera systems.
Given the goals to facilitate more touchless experiences – like contactless room entry – each guest room door will need to have a smart lock that can integrate with the facial recognition system to grant guests entry when authorized. This smart lock system could even restrict access to employee-only areas such as restaurant kitchens, secure areas, performer preparation rooms, and more. If current access control systems are only outfitted for keycards, you’ll need to purchase new hardware, so you will need to consider your overall budget.
Next, consider timing and development constraints. For quicker deployment timelines and well-defined use cases such as this one, plug-and-play solutions like FaceMe® Security are a great option. Alternatively, if you have a longer implementation timeline and technical staff available to help with development, you can integrate an SDK into existing systems to execute more complicated use cases.
Facial Recognition, Hospitality, and You
From hotels to restaurants, events, and more, hospitality is all about creating amazing experiences for your customers. Facial recognition not only empowers new experiences and opportunities but can also cut down on the most stressful and challenging elements of the industry. Thanks to highly accurate and flexible facial recognition solutions like FaceMe®, you can streamline check-in lines, long security processes, payments, and other pain points. Guests can then focus on maximizing their time in enjoying themselves.