AccorHotels uses biometrics to determine guests’ perfect vacation

SeekerProject.com is live now, with interactive hotel kiosks to follow. Photo credit: AccorHotels

AccorHotels has teamed up with Toronto-based agency Cossette and digital experience creators The Mill to develop an immersive sensory experience that will hopefully reveal what guests want in a vacation and help plan the perfect experience. Called Seeker by Le Club AccorHotels, is being unveiled as Le Club, AccorHotels’ loyalty program, merges with the Fairmont President’s Club, Raffles Ambassadors and Swissôtel Circle.

Seeker is an assessment of affinity that measures biometric reactions and behavioral analysis to unlock and gain deeper insights into what guests truly want and need in a travel experience, the hotel said. SeekerProject.com is live now and interactive hotel kiosks will follow. 
 
“AccorHotels believes that true loyalty goes beyond excellent service—it is about intuition and the anticipation of a guest’s needs,” said Siobhan Mitchell, director, loyalty marketing, AccorHotels North & Central America, in a statement. “A deeper understanding of what a guest desires helps us deliver a more tailored, impactful luxury and loyalty experience. This was the inspiration for Seeker—what if we could go further than ever before, to understand and know our guests even better than they know themselves.”
 
In late June, Le Club AccorHotels brought together thought leaders from across North America to pilot Seeker. The multisensory installation included: motion tracking, a reactive visualization across LED panels, measuring intensity of motion and linger time to assess relative extroversion or introversion; a reactive waterfall, used to determine affinity for tranquility or adventure; a collection of unique pillars, gauging attraction to either modern (glass, metal) or rustic (wood, stone) environments; and a video mood board, which displayed simultaneous video clips contrasting various experience locales, tonalities and types. 
 
Each guest was outfitted with a Muse EEG Headset and Empatica E4 wristband; a custom app was developed to wirelessly stream alpha and gamma brain waves, heart rate, and galvanic skin response data from these devices to the control room in realtime. Behavioral data was merged with a “biometric multiplier” to give greater weight to responses with more EEG engagement, higher heart rates and elevated GSR readings.

A custom algorithm was then used to match responses with six key psychological, personality, destination and style metrics: urban vs. rural, adventure vs. relaxation, romance vs. family, rustic vs. modern, hot vs. cold, extroversion vs. introversion. The result was a visual psychograph and travel profile completely unique to each participant, which informed recommendations for dream destinations scored against the same metrics.
 
Travelers now can discover their true travel desires online at SeekerProject.com. The digital platform brings the Seeker experience to life via a timed sorter test inspired by the Harvard Bias Test, which prompts impulse-driven decisions vs. conscious selection, with double testing of images to prove validity of choice and score modification according to selection speed (quicker reaction = stronger reaction).

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A “biometric multiplier” is factored in for desktop users who enable their web cam, as heart rate is calculated via the isolation of color and measurement of optical intensity in the face. The results are evaluated against the same metrics as the in-person experience—the same aesthetic preferences, personality drivers, and travel motivators. Online participants also receive a custom psychograph, travel profile and destination recommendations, which are all shareable via the user’s social networks. 
 
“This is the first time biometrics and behavior analysis are being used to detect travel preferences in the hospitality space, to our knowledge, and is an area with tremendous potential and possibilities,” Mitchell said.

Le Club AccorHotels will unveil a series of interactive hotel kiosks that will bring the digital Seeker experience to select properties across North America. The kiosks will feature a design which evokes the in-person Seeker experience, while functioning as the online platform, including heart rate monitoring via web cam. 

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