Automation is everywhere in today’s world, from robotic cleaning help to self-driving cars, to the one of the latest innovations—fresh meat vending machines. A recent Bloomberg report highlighted how the Applestone Meat company is thinking creatively when it comes to fresh meat accessibility around-the-clock.

The pork and beef provider distributes cuts of meat to customers at vending machines as a means of convenience. The company had previously been exclusively focused on home delivery but started using the machines as a way to provide an alternative option to people seeking a higher end meal without having to go to a butcher’s shop during work hours.

The company does not have a traditional butcher counter but does offer a person-to-person experience if a customer has questions about a certain cut of meat or needs assistance.

One industry that always seems to travel with or ahead of the technology pack is hospitality, and its efforts toward automation are notable. For example, the ‘Autonomous Travel Suite’ combines transportation and hospitality via a driverless, mobile suite that offers door-to-door transport from a customer’s home to his or her destination.

Complete with sleeping area, workspace, and washroom, productivity is key in this innovative mobile hotel. The traveler makes a request via the app, and the unit is delivered to his or her door. Then the customer hits the road in the traveling suite and lands at the chosen Autonomous Hotel docking facility. The suite functions as both a rental car and a hotel room.[1]

While not all autonomous technology in the hospitality space is this boundary-pushing, innovation consistently drives this industry’s ideas for improvement in customer experience.

During the next few years, the use of Augmented Reality (AR) in the field is expected to take off.

AR can empower hotel managers, restaurant owners, food truck entrepreneurs, and consumers to interact in ways more effective and streamlined than ever before. Even the food pick-up window could be transformed through animated capabilities. And the Amazon Echo has given us a peek at the tip of the iceberg for AI-enabled customer service.[2] There seems to be no limit to where technology in the industry will go.