Imagine a showroom for the newest technology, seemingly straight out of science fiction. There really is such a place.
At Panasonic Innovation Center North America, engineers communicate directly with B2B customers to understand their needs and offer practical solutions using Panasonic’s leading-edge technologies. Customers look at conceptual technology demos to see what is available, then envision how the technologies might work for their businesses in a sort of innovation partnership with Panasonic.
One of the technologies Panasonic features there is a digital mirror created in partnership with IBM. The Panasonic Digital Mirror uses Watson technology to deliver news, weather, traffic and other information to people looking in it.
Several hospitality organizations took a liking to the mirror because it could be part of their efforts to improve the guest experiences by delivering a wow factor. It could impress the millennial demographic and give tech-savvy guests the experiences they want.
The Digital Concierge evolved from the digital mirror.
Meet your digital concierge
The Panasonic Digital Concierge uses Watson and IBM Cloud technologies to enhance a digital mirror especially for hotels and other hospitality industry customers. Hotel guests can engage the Panasonic Digital Concierge through the digital mirror in conversation. Guests can easily learn about the hotel, its surroundings and its services, such as entertainment, shopping, transportation, weather and more.
There is an interest in expanding the Digital Concierge beyond hospitality to residential, retail, museums, entertainment, theme parks and residential or multi-tenant apartment buildings, where the management can provide a concierge-style benefit to residents as a service. It could also be extended to senior living facilities. The possibilities continue to grow.
Digital Concierge on the go with LinkRay
To take things a step further, Panasonic and IBM are extending their collaboration to applications for the Panasonic-developed LinkRay, an advanced content delivery service that uses visible light communication.
LinkRay delivers mobile content by enabling ordinary smartphones to read IDs sent from LED transmitters, such as displays, signboards and spotlights, and connect to associated mobile content. Users connect to content quickly, easily and securely for an intuitive and impactful experience.
Enhanced guest experience
Users of apps that are integrated with LinkRay might scan the light as they enter a hotel lobby. They will immediately get the Watson concierge dialog and begin a conversation with a digital concierge, which knows a guest’s location based on the light source:
Guest: “What is my room number?”
Digital concierge: “Your room number is 405. That is on the fourth floor.”
Guest: “Where is the elevator?”
Digital concierge: “Keep walking to that hallway and take a right.”
The guest can forgo the typical registration desk procedure, because he is already authenticated by the digital-concierge system. The guest can keep walking past the manned concierge desk because he has the information he needs. He can go straight to the elevator, get out at the fourth floor, and go to his room. He can then open the door with the digital key in his app. He can continue his conversation with the digital mirror in his room, because it knows who he is.
The guest can then learn when the pool is open, for example.
The “smart” aquarium
Watson and the IBM Cloud platform tie the guest experience together, so the guest is known throughout the property. This technology can be extended throughout the hospitality industry and extended to retail, theme parks and museums.
For example, The Smart Aquarium takes the aquarium experience to the next level by combining Panasonic LinkRay technology and the Digital Concierge to create immersive and awe-inspiring customer experiences.
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