CES: Fragrance Diffusion System Has Multiple Possibilities

One of the more interesting exhibitors at CES Unveiled was Artiris Parfum, which showcased its Compoz natural fragrance diffusion system. There are a number of vendors offering necklaces and masks that emit synthetic odors for individual scent-enhanced VR and AR experiences. Paris-based Artiris Parfum offers a system that lightly diffuses customized, programmable blends of up to five all-natural fragrances into a room to create a group programmable olfactory experience. Continue reading CES: Fragrance Diffusion System Has Multiple Possibilities

Disney Reveals Details For Its Upcoming Streaming Service

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced yesterday that the company’s planned subscription video service is slated to launch November 12th of this year at $6.99 per month (undercutting competitors such as Netflix). The service, which will feature movies and TV series from Disney, Fox, Pixar, National Geographic, Marvel and the “Star Wars” franchise, is planned to roll out in Europe and Asia in 2020. Disney is anticipating 60 million to 90 million subscribers by 2024. To start, Disney+ will offer 10 original movies, 25 original series, all 30 seasons of “The Simpsons,” many of the “Star Wars” films, and family content from the Fox library. Continue reading Disney Reveals Details For Its Upcoming Streaming Service

New Version of Alexa Coming to Hotels With Echo Speakers

Amazon introduced Alexa for Hospitality this week, a new version of its virtual assistant designed specifically for the hotel industry. Alexa for Hospitality will initially be offered on an invitation basis to locations such as hotels and vacation rentals. The voice assistant will be customized per hospitality location so that customers can interact with an Echo smart speaker to easily adjust room controls, order room service, request housekeeping, ask location-specific questions, contact the front desk, check out, and more. Continue reading New Version of Alexa Coming to Hotels With Echo Speakers

Enseo Service to Bring Netflix to More Hotel Rooms Worldwide

Netflix and in-room entertainment platform maker Enseo have announced an expanded deal to bring the Netflix app to more worldwide hotel rooms. Hotel guests will be able to log in to their Netflix accounts via Enseo’s system and access TV shows, movies and their personalized lists and settings. “The two companies were already working together on Enseo’s product, the Enseo Entertainment Experience,” reports TechCrunch, “which also provides access to other streaming services like YouTube, Pandora, Hulu and Crackle.” Enseo was the first to bring Netflix to hotels with its original 2014 agreement. The new deal means Enseo “can now offer Netflix to any hotel under a contract in any country worldwide where Netflix is available.” Continue reading Enseo Service to Bring Netflix to More Hotel Rooms Worldwide

CES: IBM Pushes Watson Brand with New Product Integration

Move over, Siri. Some new consumer products will include the artificial intelligence platform and “Jeopardy!” winner, Watson. IBM announced at CES 2016 that it has partnered with Under Armour to use Watson in the company’s fitness app to help make suggestions based on health data. Watson will also power a new robot from the Japan-based SoftBank company. The Pepper robot is designed to provide an interactive experience that would replace the kiosks in retail stores, banks and hotels. Continue reading CES: IBM Pushes Watson Brand with New Product Integration

Facebook Users Can Search Top-Ranked Local Businesses

Amazon and Google have recently made efforts to connect Internet users with home and local service providers, taking on companies such as Angie’s List and Yelp in the process. Now, Facebook is testing its own feature that directs social media users to the top-reviewed service providers in their area. The new site is only available on desktop, but Facebook offers the ability to find local businesses on mobile via “Nearby Places.” In addition to home services, Facebook’s feature highlights restaurants, bars, nightclubs and travel-related businesses such as hotels, sightseeing and tours. Continue reading Facebook Users Can Search Top-Ranked Local Businesses

Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

As hotels in the U.S. continue to offer faster Internet connections, an increasing number of guests are more inclined to stream video content via popular services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu than opt for in-house video-on-demand. As a result, hotels are beginning to experience a significant decline in VOD use. Some have recently cut their adult-themed VOD content, and may eventually do the same with other on-demand offerings. However, this may not be the end of video-on-demand in hotels if providers make their services more competitive. Continue reading Streaming Services Send Hotel Room VOD to Chopping Block

Amazon Destinations Looks to Compete in Online Travel Market

Amazon launched its hotel-booking service this week, Amazon Destinations, that will initially feature about 150 hotels, inns and B&Bs located in the Northeast, Southern California and Pacific Northwest. While the listings include a few branded hotels, the focus will remain on smaller, independent properties and operators for now. The company began hotel bookings in 2012, primarily offering discounts to address excess inventory. The new service will allow owners more flexibility regarding rates beyond package deals and discounts. Continue reading Amazon Destinations Looks to Compete in Online Travel Market

Amazon Plans to Tackle Travel Services with New Booking Site

Amazon is partnering with independent hotels and resorts to offer a prepaid booking service via a new site. The initial rollout will feature select locations within hours of New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. The online retailer is expected to collect a standard 15 percent commission for prepaid bookings. Amazon Travel is likely to mirror existing hotel booking sites with pricing details, room availability and photos, and is expected to launch as early as January 1, 2015. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Tackle Travel Services with New Booking Site

Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Comcast plans to renovate 70 percent of the California theme park, Universal Studios Hollywood, with thousands of parking spaces, improved transit, two 500-room hotels, and most importantly, new attractions designed to broaden their fan base. Several “Despicable Me” inspired attractions will open for young riders on Saturday. Other updates, including the highly anticipated “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction, will be completed by 2016. Continue reading Universal Studios Hollywood to Receive a $1.6 Billion Makeover

Shift to Mobile Devices Makes Hotels Rethink Entertainment

LodgeNet, which provides television services to hotels, has revamped its video-on-demand and Internet programs after claiming bankruptcy. Hotel video-on-demand programs have been shifting as an increasing amount of travelers have started bringing their entertainment with them. Hotels are now trying to find new ways to keep cable and Internet packages without losing profits and customers. Continue reading Shift to Mobile Devices Makes Hotels Rethink Entertainment