Hilton Hotels is set to mass produce its most ambitious innovative concept yet. The foremost pioneer in hospitality debuted an exclusive demo of their “Connected Room” earlier this month where guests will be able to use their mobile devices to control amenities in their rooms.
Stepping inside the Connected Room for the very first live demo at the Hilton McLean location, executives were excited to share where tech can further take hospitality to enhance the customer experience.
During a presentation before the unveiling, President and CEO Chris Nassetta explained, “Innovation is in the DNA of the Hilton business model. When we think about innovation, it’s holistic. For us for 100 years and to this day, innovation is a sort of balanced equation.”
For Hilton, digital is a huge part but does not supersede the bigger picture. For the next 10 years, the company will be expanding a number of key aspects of the chain. More brand hotels like the Tru and Canopy to cater to diverse groups of travelers. A stronger emphasis on hyperlocal community ties so that hotels are sought after destinations for both locals and travelers alike. Plus, elevating an award-winning internal workforce that sustains diverse thought and talent, continually bringing in the best and brightest to serve.
But yes. Concurrently utilizing what the newest technologies have to offer when it comes to upgrading unparalleled convenience, comfort, and connectivity.
“We are a 100-year-old company with a startup mentality,” said Nassetta.
And all that inventiveness will be housed at the Innovation Gallery inside Hilton McLean. This is where the prototype for the Connected Room was on display.
Three key features were shared allowing remote and personalized capabilities for light, temperature, and media through the Hilton Honors app. Hilton Honors is the hotel rewards program that already features digital check-in, Digital Key and free standard Wi-Fi.
Digital Key has seen a lot of usages so there’s a real chance to meet the needs of the most tech-savvy individuals with the further developed mobile-centric concept. Those will be impressed with the option to mindlessly and easily approach their surroundings.
First up is the ability for guests to set the temperature before reaching their room. Guests can walk right in and have it set however warmly or coolly to their liking and satisfaction.
The second feature is no fuss entertainment configuration. With the popularity of streaming services, guest can queue up their favorite shows and have them ready to view with just a click.
One longstanding annoyance that travelers can encounter is finding a certain station with the different channel numbers that can vary city by city sometimes. The “Connected Room” capabilities address that. At the touch of one’s smartphone, guests can also switch between channels where stations will be displayed according to their logo name. There will be no more struggling in that department. Cable T.V. lovers rejoice.
Finally, a day’s travel calls for relaxation and ultimately, sound slumber. But what if a guest in their haste forgot to turn off the bathroom light? Now, they’re faced with an aggravating decision to get up out the comfortable spot in bed. With the new technology, they’re in luck. Right from their fingertips, they can turn their lights off and on. A sigh of sweet relief and sweet, sweet snooze.
Also in the pipeline is the ability to display personal photos on the T.V. screen. Guests can smile looking back on the adventures of the day like the mint chocolate chip ice cream that had their stomach explode in a happy dance. Or maybe they’re more of the type to display photos of family and friends. Whatever suits their mood or needs, the functions of the new technology have them covered.
Travelers on the go will get the same sense of walking into their home, if not an even higher sense of comfort. “For everyone who travels, don’t you want it to feel like home,” said Nassetta.
In addition to these mobile-enabled capabilities, the room also features sustainability aspects. Since 2008, the brand has upheld green and environmental efforts. For redesigning rooms for the digitally fueled future, it’s no different.
Sustainable materials outfit the room, from the ceramic tiles to the carpet made with recycled material. Especially eye-catching is the living wall – a sea moss lined surface that brings the natural outside world in.
Every piece has a story and a purpose, with these items fitted to manage sound absorption, humidity, asthma, allergens and water resistance.
Extensively, the innovative room will balance guests amenities, sustainability, and good business practices as well. For hotel owners and operators, the digital developments will make functions more efficient.
For example, the previously mentioned climate control component can make heating and cooling bills more economical.
Additionally, it will drive down the costs of having to remove and replace parts for upgrades or other changes. All of the technology is controlled by a tiny little black box with a chip. While it’s still a massive investment initially, the long-term cost will level out making it a gamble worth taking.
Hilton has a collection of the most talented engineers working on this technology, according to Joshua Sloser, Senior Vice President of Digital Product at Hilton. Only the best and brightest looking at how do you build something that will endure, he said.
According to Hilton, the room is live in one hotel, will deploy in coming weeks in several additional hotels, and will begin to scale rapidly to hotels across the United States in 2018.
The Connected Room is just the first in a number of innovative developments the leading global hospitality company is undertaking to remain competitive in the digital, shared economy.
Started nearly 100 years ago by entrepreneur Conrad Hilton, the company is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to “be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences to every hotel, every guest, every time.”
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