Discussing Cruise Guest Experience Technologies with UIEvolution
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When first I heard of UIEvolution, I honestly knew nothing about the company, and in many ways that’s exactly what it wants. After speaking with Travis Beaven, the company’s chief product officer and GM of Consumer Engagement, it becomes clear that invisible technology is key to providing a positively effective cruise guest experience.
UIEvolution brings a modern approach to the areas of entertainment, mobile devices and signage onboard cruise ships. Working with brands like Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises within the Carnival Corporation and Crystal Cruises in the luxury segment, he says, “I think they get it. They get the importance of technology and taking it forward.” The company also works with other solutions, seamlessly integrating with separate technologies like the Princess@Sea web app, for instance.
Beaven recognizes how cruise lines in the past several decades have taken an approach of installing basic television systems or new technologies only to let them languish over time and bucks it with solutions that are constantly evolving, all the while learning from and applying guest and crew feedback. He adds, “the TV experience, the mobile experience [and] the signage experience should always feel like it’s today, not a year ago or five years ago.”
As much as he admits it’s a cliche, he also says, “it’s bringing that internet of things that people are having at the home into the luxury cruise ship.” As apps are always updating shoreside, so too should onboard technology be required to. That means starting with beautiful ship hardware and enhancing it with software that serves live and on-demand entertainment content seamlessly across fixed and mobile devices.
So, what does seamless integration across technologies and devices look like? It’s sharing a backend of services so if the guest wants to book a shore excursion on their smartphone app, they will be alerted with a notification on the television system or shipboard signage. It’s starting a movie in your stateroom and resuming it on your mobile tablet. And it’s doing it all in your native language whenever possible, specific to the destinations traveled.
“We’re trying to make it so that the technology can enable, say, a Chinese experience for the Chinese market if the ship is going there versus a European environment or a Caribbean environment,” says Beaven. “If it’s going to Alaska on a voyage and then resetting to the Caribbean, then we’re changing that experience so it fits the location it’s in.”
Communication bandwidth is usually very limited onboard,
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