In writing my book, Silicon Collar, I saw plenty of examples of how machines make human workers safer, smarter and speedier. I also became more aware of poor implementations where the man-machine balance is broken and leads to worker and customer dissatisfaction. In this series, I will highlight some of those experiences.
I was looking forward to trying out the Hilton Digital Key knowing it would be crazy trying to check in during Oracle OpenWorld week. I am more of a Marriott fan, but my friend Vijay Vijaysankar raves about it
“I haven't gone to a check-in desk at Hilton in a while . I just do a check-in on app , and get a digital key and walk straight to my room . I also only choose hotels that have digital keys for the most part.”
The initial experience was promising. I could pick a room of my choice on the mobile app. I picked one in a tower which is quieter than the others, but the confirmation asked me to go the check-in desk when I arrived. Seemed a bit unnecessary since the key was on my mobile phone.
No, they expect you to go a designated Digital Check-in desk. Except that it was unmanned, and I had to join the rest of the crowds for someone to provision the key on the phone.
The room opened fine. The first time, that is. Later that evening, it would not work so I had to go back to the lobby and get a cardkey which I used rest of the stay. Just for kicks I tried the mobile key on the last day, and this time I worked
Hopefully Hilton will work out these quirks, otherwise the automation will annoy both customers and employees.