The modern hotel room
At RoomNetTV our focus is on in-room guest entertainment. We aim to introduce a home-away-from-home experience, with guests able to access personal content, enjoying all their usual TV shows and favourite movies.
The pace of technological change at the entertainment level is ferocious. We’re constantly innovating our offering to provide cutting edge solutions. Yet it’s not just the entertainment side of things; the hotel room in general is evolving apace.
While beds are still (and probably always will be) the obvious focal point along with the general decor, an infusion of technology is transforming other in-room amenities, so that many aspects of hotel rooms are becoming practically unrecognisable.
We’ve stated in the past how many hotels are content to focus on standard furnishings, putting an SD TV in the guest room that only accesses a few local channels for example – hardly something to write home about.
Aspects that guests will be writing home about are those that provide a novel experience. Let’s look at some of these…
Keyless entry – we briefly touched on this in a previous blog looking at how modern technology can help hotels in general. Keyless doors are becoming more and more widespread, having been taken up by significant hotel chains. These have evolved from tapping cards on pads to smartphone apps – where guests just need to touch their phone to a door pad to gain access. Some hotels are going even further, with the use of facial recognition, meaning if you want to pop to the bar for a drink, you can leave your smartphone safely charging in the room knowing you just need to look at your door to get back in.
Smart Lighting – are the days of the light switch numbered? We’ve helped facilitate iPads in Citizen M hotels that control all sorts of aspects, including the lighting. Voice control is the next step, which leads us on to our next step…
Voice command technology – Alexa and Siri are slipping into common parlance, which means hoteliers need to pay attention. Voice control isn’t for everyone. Yet. But with more and more people engaging with its potential, it’s likely that voice command will be a requisite requirement for most hotels. Although comprehensive acceptance is still far off (some people are wary of being recorded in hotel rooms after all), it’s certainly showing signs of heading that way with thermostat control, music, television and more available.
Mobile concierge – it may seem simple to pick up the phone and speak to room service, but plenty of people are more comfortable reverting to their smartphone. Marriott has been paving the way with its app, which allows the guest to request all sorts of things, such as the standard more towels and extra pillows, to shaving kits and toothbrushes, and even anytime luggage assistance.
Other aspects include things such as Smartglass which enables showers to morph from frosted to transparent in an instant – facilitating a privacy switch as and when required. Some hotels even have motion sensors to know when to kick start the air con, or heat detectors designed to let room service know when an unoccupied room is safe to enter.
The level of technological change is breathtaking, making hospitality an exciting industry to work in. Hoteliers need to make sure they keep up with the pace of change though, if they want to offer an experience that guests can truly savour. And, of course, we’d advocate the entertainment system as the best place to start!