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Le Club AccorHotels Uses Biometrics to Understand Guests’ Needs

TORONTO—Le Club AccorHotels, the loyalty program for AccorHotels, has unveiled Seeker, an assessment of affinity that measures biometric reactions and behavioral analysis to unlock and gain deeper insights into what guests want and need in a travel experience. SeekerProject.com is live now; interactive hotel kiosks will follow in late July.

“AccorHotels believes that true loyalty goes beyond excellent service—it is about intuition and the anticipation of a guest’s needs. 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,” said Siobhan Mitchell, director of loyalty marketing, AccorHotels North & Central America.

In late June, Le Club AccorHotels brought together thought leaders from across North America to pilot Seeker.

The multisensory installation included the following:

  • 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
  • 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 real time. 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; and 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.

Starting today, travelers worldwide 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 equals a stronger reaction). 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.

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

The launch of Seeker coincides with the integration of Le Club AccorHotels with Fairmont President’s Club, Raffles Ambassadors and Swissôtel Circle, which has commenced. Though the Seeker experience is not limited to loyalty members, Seeker participants who belong to or join Le Club AccorHotels will receive a special offer of 1,000 bonus points for stays through Sept. 30.

Seeker was developed in partnership with Toronto-based agency Cossette and The Mill NY/Chicago.

“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,” stated Mitchell. “Seeker is an incredible tool for guests who want to discover something potentially unexpected or undiscovered about their own psyches, and in the process, hopefully encounter new destinations and reignite a passion for travel—all inspired by Le Club AccorHotels’ continued commitment to creating better and more meaningful experiences for our guests.”

“Hopefully, Seeker will provide better and more surprising destination suggestions to guests—ones they may not have considered themselves. We hope to answer a deeper need for them, and create the getaways they’ve always really wanted but may not have considered,” said Mike Manh, senior creative developer, The Mill.

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