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Can an App Help You Make Friends in the Lobby?

SmarterTravel

MIT and Marriott Hotels turn a hotel lobby into a social hub with Six Degrees.

No, Kevin Bacon is not in your hotel lobby, but a fellow Tufts alum or Microsoft employee could be. This month marks the beginning of an app launch from a MIT-Marriott collaboration as part of Marriott’s Travel Brilliantly campaign. MIT’s Mobile Experience Lab partnered with the hotel chain to create Six Degrees, a social app that connects to a user’s LinkedIn profile to find connections. Dare we say, it sounds like a professional version of Tinder?

With the app, two people with a shared connection are sent notifications about each other, creating a potential relationship. Six Degrees is no match.com though—shared connections are based on professional, academic, and common interests. So, when you have some down time and want a running partner on your next business trip, Six Degrees is there. Information can also be shared with the hotel staff to organize networking events.

The app goes even further with a LED-light interactive table where guests place their phone on a hub and instantly see a light-up connection to a phone with any similarities. So, when can you use the app on your next business venture? For now testing continues at the Boston Marriott Cambridge but will enter proof-of-concept testing soon if all goes well, with eventual expansion to all 500 hotel locations.

Would you try the app if you came across it in your hotel lobby? We’d love to hear your comments!

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(Photo: Mobile Experience Lab, MIT)

 

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