Four Winds’ interactive GoBoards now in 400-plus Marriotts
November 8, 2011 by Dave Haynes
There are now GoBoards in almost 400 U.S. locations, and the latest version of the software driving the screens, announced today, adds some interesting new wrinkles.
The 4.0 version uses Microsoft Tags, colorful 2D bar codes that are very similar to QR codes, but different in a few ways (such as QRs being open source). The tags are attached to all local information options on the GoBoard, allowing hotel guests to send directions for things like area restaurants and local malls directly to their smart phones.
“We are thrilled to present this new technology to our guests,” says Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott. “The new GoBoard® 4.0 features allow travelers to access information easily and to maximize the use of the GoBoard’s offerings. This development helps us deliver on our brand promise of giving our customers more options to empower them while on the road.”
The new GoBoard software also rolls in FIDS arrivals and departure information for local airports and walking directions to destinations. The new version is also ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) friendly.
Four Winds has also got GoBoards running in 25 Marriotts in other countries, including the big growth markets of China and India.
Anyone who reads my blabber knows how little enthusiasm I have for busy, multi-zoned screens, but it’s a different dynamic in a hotel – with people actually going to the screen and using touch to drill down for the information they want. It’s very different from trying to get this same volume of information in front of people as they are moving through public spaces or doing other things.
I still think the design could be calmed down, but Marriott has invested big in these things – and you even see them in Marriott TV spots – so the feedback is presumably very favorable.