By Terry Trucco
IPads are so yesterday. Last Thursday, a self described geek named Rodney Loges tapped his Google Glass and became the first person in the world to book a hotel room using the wearable technology.
Sharing a spot in tech history, such as it was, is the Holiday Inn Express in Woodbridge, Virginia, an unassuming suburban hotel 23 miles from Washington, D.C. The booking was facilitated by Hotel Near Me, a new app billed as the first allowing users to find and reserve hotel rooms with Google Glass. Loges, founder of One Degree Capital, selected the hotel for its agreeable location for some investors coming to see him.
The free app, created by the online travel agency Destinia.com, uses a GPS system to let users find nearby hotels and boasts some smart-sounding bells and whistles – you can see photos and view hotel information, filter properties by price and, when the big moment comes, book a hotel. It also displays a map and will supply directions that lead you to your hotel’s door.
The app currently offers users some 230,000 hotel choices on the Destinia website with numerous options in New York City from plush (Plaza Athenee, Waldorf Astoria, Mondrian SoHo) to (much) less so (Hotel Carter, Hotel Pennsylvania).
You control the app by swiping or tapping. Voice commands, like “book hotel,” also work.
Starwood Hotels and Resorts is hot on the Glass trail as well. Their new Starwood Preferred Guest app will allow Google Glass users to research and book stays at the company’s 1,200 international hotels.
Unlike Hotel Near Me, the Starwood app is currently a beta project, meaning the company intends to use feedback to fine-tune its design. “Our goal is to explore these new technologies and learn from our guests’ interactions with them,” says Chris Holdren, senior vice-president of Starwood Guest and Digital Services.