Technology transforming hotel experience

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The moment you step in a hotel, your smartphone will be detected and will prepare your details for check-in. There’s no need for the receptionist at the check-in counter to ask questions because you have already filled in a registration form. Once you arrive, all you have to do is sign the pre-filled document.

You don’t need to take out your credit card to pay either. Guests’ payment details are deposited in a secure mobile app.

This is how the Saudi startup, Near Motion, imagines technology transforming the traveller’s experience.

Automatic check-in is one of their solutions. Others are indoor navigation and marketing solutions such as offers and loyalty programs detected based on your location.

The guest is able to checkout via mobile and can therefore skip the line at the reception when leaving.

This is done using beacon technology, Bluetooth Low Energy devices that allow mobile apps to identify the user’s location and deliver relevant content based on their navigation to stores, hotels, or other places and immediately receive welcome notifications, coupons or special offers.

65% of consumers that receive push notifications check and open them.

Such technology saves time and effort for consumers who are constantly becoming more mobile, according to the startup team that is based in Khobar.

“The competition in the hospitality sector is really harsh,” says founder Faisal Alferdos. “Differentiation in terms of smooth check-in, friendly staff and customizable guest rewards can make the difference. This what our solution is about, it helps transforming hotels into smart ones that welcome, guide and reward guests, allowing for a smooth and fast check-in process.”

This also allows the staff to have easier and immediate access to the guest’s unique profile and preferences, designing special rewards for them. Behavior reports and analytics can go a long way in increasing loyalty and customer satisfaction, according to the research they conducted.

A luxury hotel is not necessarily the priority for the majority of hotel guests nowadays as affordable budget hotels are witnessing rapid growth, he added. “Today’s travelers look for time-efficient and easy solutions. They’re also looking for interpersonal relations. A hotel that makes guests feel at home and part of the family is a winner.”

Near Motion’s solutions provide customer engagement tools including proximity marketing, way finding, customized offers and coupons, pre check-in, in addition to customers behavior reports and analytics. “Our platform is very flexible to get use of the most of BLE technology such as offering loyalty programs, online restaurant menu, in addition to mobile payment,” says Alferdos.

Near Motion was shortlisted this year among 200 startups from 39 countries in the Marriott Hotel’s TestBED program in partnership with Wamda. The program invites seed and early stage start-ups with products or services that are ready to pilot in a live hotel environment, offering an opportunity for participants to gain insightful feedback from guests, associates and mentors to help further develop and perfect their product.


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