Paperless Travel: This Start-up is Using A.I. to Cut Out Red Tape in Southeast Asia’s Hospitality Industry
GTRIIP wants to make leisure and business travel experiences seamless
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Any traveler can attest to the amount of time wasted on filling out paper forms and registration cards with the same details every time they stay at a hotel.
Whether it’s checking in at a luxury property booked weeks ahead of time or waiting for an airline to book a complimentary few hours’ stay at their partner hotel due to interrupted travel, it would often take anywhere from 15 minutes to almost an hour before one can get a room. The same can be said of co-working spaces, gyms and clubs, and events where members and guests need to have their profiles verified.
Such is the pain point GTRIIP, an artificial intelligence (A.I.) and biometrics software start-up, is looking to nip in the bud. Among the eight innovations featured in the Smart Hotel Technology Roadmap by the Singapore Tourism Board, GTRIIP’s grand vision is to give everyone the freedom of document-less travel worldwide.
No Paperwork Needed
Headquartered in San Francisco with an Asia Pacific office in Singapore, GTRIIP allows hotels to increase productivity by reducing repetitive tasks and provide guests with an improved hotel experience. Leveraging biometric sensors and facial recognition technology available on smartphones, GTRIIP’s app allows guests to check in by taking a selfie — no paperwork needed.
“We link human biometrics such as face and fingerprint to guests’ profile details on a smartphone, so physical documents are no longer required for verification,” explains Maxim Thaw Tint, GTRIIP CEO.
According to Thaw Tint, GTRIIP initially found interfaces between existing hardware and software systems to be a huge challenge. “A verified identity that is not recognized by other systems has very limited uses.” Another challenge, he says, “is trust, to honor a verification of an individual across different commercial properties. We’ve come up with patented innovations in our system to solve this trust of a verified profile and we’re constantly finding better ways to do this.”
Currently, GTRIIP is working to expand its network of partners, which includes industry-leading property management systems, door locks, and other hardware manufacturers so verified individuals may open doors to their room or office, and even control in-room electronic appliances like lights, air conditioners, television, and more. “Our focus for the medium term is to allow this technology to scale beyond hotels and office sectors we currently operate in, and include other establishments like gyms and member clubs,” says Thaw Tint.
Supported by cognitive technology, GTRIIP leverages on AI for machine learning and understanding, allowing for manpower to be more efficiently deployed in an organization — whether a hotel, a co-working space, or a club. It takes its mission of ‘exploring different ways to retrieve a verified profile for humans without a smartphone’ a step further, with its recently secured seven-figure Series A round from institutional investors.
“The round of funding will allow GTRIIP to really reach our true potential and scalability in providing a wide range of A.I.-powered cognitive solutions for the hospitality and corporate real estate industry,” shares Huang Siheng, co-founder and CTO. “I’m excited to further our technical and business development to benefit hotels, offices, and clubs globally,” he adds.
To date, GTRIIP serves over 50,000 users at over 10 properties, with major customers in Singapore and Macau. According to Thaw Tint, revenue has quadrupled from 2016 to 2017, and eight times from 2017 to 2018 alone. A proponent of artificial intelligence and blockchain, Thaw Tint also relates that GTRIIP is still at its early stage of innovation.
“Cognitive abilities of A.I. will get better over time. At one point, if not already, A.I. will be able to identify my best friend better than I could as a human with naked eyes. Technologies such as blockchain could allow such information to be liberated across trust boundaries. Imagine this, some of the 10 billion humans would be probably traveling to a different planet by 2050. There needs to be a better way to identify humans and machines on any planet. We have an initiative internally code-named as ‘Project 10B’ to tackle this,” he shares.
With the artificial intelligence space continuing to gain traction as more start-ups explore the technology, Thaw Tint dishes out his two cents’ worth: “To have the most mathematically efficient systems, we probably do not even need humans to have this. But such core values as empathy should guide our moral compass in creating products that do not replace, but rather upgrade and complement existing human jobs. Be careful of intentionally, or accidentally, doing evil as a side effect in the name of good.”