Accor uses biometrics to tap travel desires

I centred my head in the computer camera and it measured the speed of my reactions as I dragged various images into the

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor

Nicole Thibodeau and Ali Henwood at the interactive kiosk at the Royal York Hotel.

Nicole Thibodeau and Ali Henwood at the interactive kiosk at the Royal York Hotel.

TORONTO —
The interactive hotel kiosk took up a large section of the lobby of the Royal York
Hotel. There was a huge screen telling the story of biometrics and the
AccorHotels Seeker project. The goal was to provide people with ideas of places
to visit — including the Accor hotel in that location — by using biometric
reactions and behavioural analysis.

I centred
my head in the computer camera and it measured the speed of my reactions as I
dragged various images into the “yes” or “no” categories to
show my travel desires.

After a
few false starts, I got the hang of it. I said yes to quiet beaches, couples
walking through a city, beautiful vistas of mountains and fields. I said no to
scuba diving, extreme sports and noisy-looking night clubs.

After a
few minutes, the computer said my travel preferences were  Thailand, Northern California or Germany —
specifically the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, the Pullman Khon Kaen
Raja Orchid or the Pullman Cologne.  The computer got it right: Sonoma is home to oaky Chardonnay, my favourite type of wine; I have visited Thailand twice and the people are the nicest I've ever met; and Germany has more wine, beer, rivers and castles. What's not to love?

My destinations: Northern California, Thailand and Germany.

My destinations: Northern California, Thailand and Germany.

Le Club
AccorHotels
, the loyalty program for
world-leading travel and lifestyle group AccorHotels, launched ‘Seeker,’ on July 10. Seeker is an
assessment of affinity that measures biometric reactions and behavioural
analysis to unlock and gain deeper insights into what guests truly want and
need in a travel experience. 

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

The launch of Seeker
coincided with the integration of Le
Club AccorHotels with Fairmont President’s Club, Raffles Ambassadors and
Swissôtel Circle, effective July 2, 2018. 

In
these days of privacy concerns, where a Calgary mall came under fire after using facial recognition to gather consumer data, Ali Henwood, account manager at Chimera Collective, stressed that Accor
is not collecting data; nor would they ever do so without permission.

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 September 30th, 2018.

Alas,
the setup at the Royal York is no longer available, but
travellers worldwide can still discover their true travel desires online
at SeekerProject.com.