As a sign of the increasing automation of service industries around the globe, and perhaps also a symptom of Japan’s ongoing practice of replacing its people with technology, the Henn Na Hotel (apparently translated as “Weird Hotel”) is scheduled to open Friday, July 17, 2015, in Sasebo, Japan.
According to the proprietor, Hideo Sawada, the hotel, although part of an amusement park, is not a gimmick, but is rather an attempt to use innovation to solve standard hospitality challenges efficiently and cost-effectively. The hotel uses a wide range of technology, from cameras to facial and voice recognition technologies, to serve, secure and protect guests. It seems also that room keys are to be replaced with facial recognition locks.
Here’s a little news item on Henn Na that shows some of the robots, including a diminutive T-Rex:
So, what a fascinating and innovative concept, and one that Sawada is committed to developing, including the potential addition of social robotics approaches that cater to and comfort elderly guests.
Is this the future of hospitality? Maybe. Maybe not. But here’s a view of Japan’s population situation:
Given the downward trend lines, the Henn Na may at least be the future of hospitality in Japan. And if the world’s population follows suit, it may be that a night at The Weird won’t be so weird in the near future.