Skift Take

The Glass app launch is not meaningful to most of Starwood's customers today, but the brand is betting on the growth of wearable tech and the value it can bring to travelers' booking and hotel experience.

Travelers of the future will likely be able to tour hotels by virtually walking through guest rooms and beach front bars, but we’re no quite there today.

Taking the first step towards more advanced planning, booking, and on-site tech is Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which confirmed today that its SPG app for Google Glass will launch in several weeks.

This is the second time this year that Starwood has created buzz around its tech ambitions after previously announcing it would replace room keys with smartphone technology at select properties.

Starwood says its goal is to explore what kinds of features are possible on Glass and other wearable tech, but at least several basic functionalities are sure to be available at launch.

These include voice search for Starwood’s more than 1,150 hotels, turn-by-turn directions to any hotel, and photos of hotel properties and surrounding areas.

Users can not currently book directly via Google Glass. After searching for hotels and selecting a property from a list of hotels and room rates, users can either connect directly to an associate over the phone or have the ready-to-book link sent to their email.

SPG members will be also able to access upcoming stay details and their Starpoints balance.

Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of SPG & Digital, says this is just the beginning of Starwood’s experiments with wearable tech.

“The team has been very focused on wearables,” explains Holdren. “For us, it’s clear to see the trend of the past decade. Computer power is getting smaller and more compact.”

Holdren says smart watches are another example of wearables that the team is looking at, but would not speculate on additional features that would become available on this type of technology.

“We do truly believe there is going to be a new wave of wearables that are going to improve our guests’ and associates’ experience,” he says.

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Tags: google glass, loyalty, starwood

Photo credit: A women tests Google Glass. Erica Joy / Flickr

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