[BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Panagiotis Antonopoulos pantonop at windtools.gr
Sun Aug 7 07:14:45 BST 2016


Clive/all,
Of course I will. Depends though on my time and the fact that different 
models circulate in different countries. I have encountered more than once 
the absence of a certain model which exists in the UK from Greece, and 
vice-versa. I have also written to my computer specialist, who should be 
able to determine if the models Steve has mentioned are suitable for blind 
people, so, there are two points to clarify.
                All the best,
                Takis

-----Αρχικό μήνυμα----- 
From: Clive Lever
Sent: Saturday, August 6, 2016 9:21 PM
To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Takis,

If you get a good result from these, please write back and tell us.

Best,
Clive



-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Panagiotis 
Antonopoulos
Sent: Saturday, August 6, 2016 8:32 AM
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: Re: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Many thanks Steve, I will investigate those, in case they make sense with my 
own hearing aids.
                Thanks,
                Panagiotis

-----Ξ‘ΟΟ‡ΞΉΞΊΟŒ μήνυμα-----
From: Steve Nutt
Sent: Friday, August 5, 2016 5:45 PM
To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Hi,

There are phones with hearing aid compatibility, such as Kapsys SmartVision 
and the WileyFox Swift Android phone.  Just two that I know of.

All the best

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Panagiotis 
Antonopoulos
Sent: 05 August 2016 15:40
To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Hi Clive/dorene/all,
For one, I shall be excluded unfortunately. I have found no satisfactory way 
of using a mobile with the combination of lack of vision and incompatibility 
between mobiles and hearing aids, as their sound is not clear enough to me.
So, I wonder what would happen in cases like mine.
                Cheers,
                Panagiotis

-----Ξ“ΒΞ“Β±Ξ“Β·Ξ“Β©Ξ“ο£ΉΞ“ΞŒ Γ¬ΓžΓ­ΓµΓ¬Γ΅-----
From: Clive Lever
Sent: Friday, August 5, 2016 4:48 PM
To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Hi,

So what happens if someone nicks your Iphone? And how about 'Smartphones for 
the blind', instead of the old skool 'Wireless for the blind', (Wireless in 
the old sense of the word)?

If you have a good accessible smartphone using it to get into your room 
might be preferable to poncing about with those cards, which stop working if 
you put them in the same pocket of your mobile?

Like fire, the wheel and computers, this system could be a good servent and 
a bad master. The software itself has to be accessible of course, presenting 
all its information in a form that can be spoken, with none of this nonsense
of: "You can open your door when the red icon turns green".

Time alone will tell, not only whether it will include or exclude us, but 
whether it will catch on at all.

Best,
Clive



-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Doreen Tyler
Sent: Friday, August 5, 2016 1:17 PM
To: BCAB Discussion List
Subject: [BCAB] INTERESTING ARTICLE

Hi folks:

Came across this and thought it might spark some interesting disscussion.

Guess my one concern is the A word Ξ“Ξ†Ξ²β€šΒ¬Ξ²β‚¬Ε“ accessibility!!!



How technology is changing in hotels; Unlocking doors with phones, robot 
deliveries and more will be the norm in inns of the future


Vanessa Lu
      The Toronto Star Aug. 3, 2016


The last thing weary travellers want to do is to wait in line for their
hotel room key.

That's what hotel chains believe, and thanks to technology, they have
already begun to offer entry via smartphone.


In the hotel room of the future, technology will simplify things. There will
be one less plastic card to lose and technology will anticipate your needs
by switching on lights or dispatching a robot to deliver extra towels or
pillows.



Keyless entry is available at the Aloft Hotel in Vaughan, where people can
check in using the Starwood app, get a notification when their room is ready
and be sent their room number - without talking to anyone.



"It's very easy to lose your key, but you never lose your phone," said Matt
Rattray, general manager of the hotel, next to the Vaughan Mills shopping
mall. "Guests like to bypass the front desk."



On a recent visit, Rattray found three guests had used the keyless entry
program by early afternoon, though they must have stayed previously at that
hotel at least once to bypass the front desk entirely.



And don't think about using it as a way to sneak around for secret trysts,
because only one guest can use their smartphone at a time. That smartphone
can also unlock central spaces such as the pool, fitness centre and guest
laundry.



Rattray says the Aloft hotel focuses on technology, ensuring a 100 megabits
per second speed for its Wi-Fi, which is available throughout the hotel -
along with plenty of outlets where users can charge devices at tables in the
lobby.



That reflects a growing desire for the third place - not your home, not your
office, but another space to work. Call it the Starbucks effect, where
people want to be with others, even if they don't know them, tapping away in
the hotel lobby.



The hotel also offers a Plug and Play feature in individual rooms, where
guests can hook up their devices, whether it's a tablet or laptop to the TV,
to play their preferred content.



Technology is also used behind the scenes - where a sensor on the door can
tell if someone is in the room. If a guest adjusts room temperature, it will
stay the same until someone leaves, then the thermostat reverts to a pre-set
level.



Paige Francis, vice-president global brand management for Aloft, Element and
Four Points Sheraton, says hotels are testing how to adapt service with
technology.



"The next kind of innovation is how to personalize the experience," Francis
said, and everything from lighting, wake-up calls and maybe getting your
coffee started in the morning may be based on the wake-up time.



"The technology is there. We need to work through how it works in the hotel
environment," she said. "The future is just around the corner."



The Starwood chain has the Botlr - a robot that can deliver items to guests.
But it can't knock, so it's programmed to call a room on arrival so the
guest can retrieve their item.



Similarly, the Hilton chain introduced Connie, a Watson-enabled robot
concierge at its McLean, Va., hotel this spring. Named after Hilton
Worldwide's founder Conrad, the robot, developed by IBM, can tell guests
what to visit, where to dine and how to find anything at the property. The
idea behind the robot is to get rid of customer pain points such as waiting
in line to ask an employee a question, to help the hotel operate more
efficiently and to surprise customers.



"When I think back to Connie, in a lot of ways, it checks all of those boxes
for us," said Jim Holthouser, executive vice-president for global brands at
Hilton.



"If you can off-load the 10 most frequently asked questions to a front desk
person, you're freeing that person up to check people in faster, anticipate
guest needs and react to requests faster."



Connie, about 60 centimetres tall, can move its arms and legs. When a guest
asks for directions, for instance, it can move itself to literally point in
the right direction. Its eyes light up in different colours to express
understanding, confusion and other emotions.



Technology is also helping guests make choices long before they arrive.

All Hilton brand hotels have digitized maps of their facilities so guests
can choose their rooms in advance, whether it's close to the elevator or on
a higher floor. Or they can choose to be next door to friends and family who
also staying at the same location - or not - Holthouser added.



Through an app, guests can request the champagne or pop that is waiting for
them in their rooms. With a partnership with Uber, guests can use app to
hail a ride, as well as find real-time listings of popular restaurants or
entertainment attractions based on Uber drop-offs.



Eventually, the company expects the smartphone app will be able to act as a
remote control for all its TVs, and will change the settings on the room's
thermostat.



Beyond using technology, hotels are looking at other ways to meet needs.

"Guests are no longer tethered in that room with that blue cord that you
have to use to get high-speed internet. That really changes the behaviour,"
said Matthew Carroll, Marriott's vice-president of global brand management,
adding on average their customers travel with three different devices. "But
they want to be untethered in the room."



The Marriott chain took a social media beating earlier this year when
travellers complained about a decision to remove traditional desks as they
updated some rooms.



"There are some areas where we might have pushed things too far, I think the
desk is one of those," Carroll said.



"Where we didn't provide enough of that functionality - to work in the
room," he said, "we have made changes to the hotels that are going to roll
out the new room moving forward as well as looking back at the hotels we
have renovated - and looking to put more functional workspaces back in."



It won't be the big old wooden desk that takes up one side of a room, but
could be a smaller workstation or even a table near sitting area, to give
travellers multiple places where they can work with a laptop or tablet.



That means some rooms might also have a chaise lounge, with a small work
surface.



"We understand and recognize, our guests do work in the room - and we need
to provide that functional workspace, with great seating and lighting, all
those key elements," Carroll said, but these days, people might be checking
emails while watching TV.



Holthouser says the Hilton hotel chain hasn't eliminated desks because
people need a place to work.



At the new Tru chain, a segment below the Hampton Inn, with smaller rooms,
it introduced a combination desk and chair. "Our solution is not meant to
eliminate desks. I think they will evolve," he said.



But one of the biggest challenges for hotels, especially in urban downtown
locations with high real estate prices, is to make smaller rooms more
functional.



Extra space is left to create for social spots in public as more guests want
to gather in small groups, or even hang out by themselves, but surrounded by
strangers.



As long as there's a Wi-Fi connection, people can be freed from that blue
cord.



Hotel Tech

Robot concierge

Hotels are using robots to do some repetitive tasks, such as fetching extra
towels or pillows. The Hilton chain has Connie, while at Starwood, there's
the Botlr, which executives say frees up staff to help guest with other more
important tasks.



Mirror, mirror, where's my news?

Some hotels are testing ways to deliver information such as weather and news
headlines on a mirror in the guest's room.



Light my way

When guests are staying in an unfamiliar setting, it can be easy to trip on
the way to the bathroom at night or stub a toe on a dresser. Sensors under
the carpet could trigger lights to come on if someone is up.



Plug and play

With travellers arriving with multiple devices, often loaded with favourite
shows or movies, hotels are making sure they can be played on the room's TV.
Marriott has partnered with Netflix so users can hook up their accounts.



City highlights

Business travellers will tell you that every hotel room looks the same and a
club sandwich is always on the room-service menu. Hotels are trying to
differentiate the rooms, adding little features to reflect their cities.
Food and beverage menus tend to showcase the best in local, as well.



Instant chat

Marriott says its check-in and checkout service on its app is popular, and
it lets guests use chat feature to ask specific questions. Quick feedback



Hotels.com will ask guests to send real-time reviews upon check-in - click
on a smiley face or frowny face to a few simple questions including the room
and location, and problems can be promptly fixed.


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