Hotel rooms are changing. New technology for the global hotel industry has debuted at a staggering rate, and experts say they expect many of the new devices created in the past decade to be standard soon.
Here's a brief rundown of 10 somewhat new technologies and why they matter to hotel owners.
1. Keyless Entry: Gone are the days of losing a keycard and being locked out of a room. In modern hotels, a guest's smartphone will soon replace the cards that we currently use to unlock hotel doors. In fact, some major hotel groups are using this technology already. Starwood Hotels provide keyless entry to guests through its SPG app. More and more hotels are expected to switch to app-based entry systems soon.
2. Mirror Televisions: Imagine watching TV in the bathroom mirror during your stay. This is already a reality at several luxury hotels across the globe, where guests can watch high-definition TV in mirrors, usually while enjoying a bathroom, sauna, or swimming pool.
3. Texting Concierge: At many hotels, guest can now communicate their needs to the staff through a smartphone. Imgine asking for more towels or a late check-out without getting out of bed. That's what this technology will soon allow all hotel guests to do.
4. Smart Thermostats: This one again involves using a guest's personal device. Hotels are increasingly adding thermostat technology that will allow guests to adjust the temperature in their rooms with a smartphone, even if they aren't on the premises.
5. Streaming Devices to TV: At many hotels, guests can now stream their computers, phones, or tablets directly to the large, high definition televisions in their rooms. This allows guests to work on these screens, or to use them to watch content via streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix.
6. Smart Lighting: Similar to the item above that lets guests use an app on a smartphone to adjust the thermostat in their rooms, some hotels now allow guests to also dim the lights in their room remotely. This is especially useful for those who are planning a romantic getaway.
7. MP3 Docking Stations: This is one of the more common technologies on our list, but it shouldn't be overlooked, seeing as a good number of guests are coming to see it as standard. These stations allow guests to plug devices into clocks or speakers to play music and charge at the same time.
8. High Speed Internet: Okay, so all hotels generally provide guests with access to high speed internet service, but now the challenge is for hotels to make sure that internet is as fast as the internet that guests use at home. One increasingly common way to do this is to offer broadband speed tiers for different prices.
9. Light sensors: This one is simple but effective. These sensors turn on when a guest enters a room, and they turn off when the room has gone a while without any motion.
10. Robots: Okay, so we're not quite there yet, but there are some hotels that have robots performing jobs previously done by the staff, such as making standard room deliveries, or serving Starbucks coffee.
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