High-Tech Hotels Go Mainstream

By Michael J. Solender, February 13, 2017

If quicker is better, the new 452-room LondonHouse Chicago takes that to heart by nearly eliminating elevator lines. The hotel’s Destination Dispatch elevators expedite travel time using smart technology to group guests by floor request. LondonHouse guests also have the latest in high-tech fitness with Technogym equipment, which have screens functioning as both entertainment centers and workstations.

Hotel meeting facilities are upping their tech game as well. Meeting rooms at the Axiom, for example, have giant 70-inch flat-screen smart TVs allowing up to 15 presenters using Crestron wireless technology. Attendees also find workstations with multiple USB charging ports in meeting rooms, plus fully integrated audiovisual systems for remote attendees.

Meeting planners and travelers don’t need to look too far into the future to explore voice-enabled cognitive hotel room and robot concierges.

At CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Harman and IBM’s Watson showcased how artificial intelligence and voice commands can be used to control everything from lighting and thermostats to alarm clocks, TVs and music. Guests ask questions to the device (it looks like an upscale clock/radio), such as, “What room is my meeting in, and what time does it start?” The device learns from repeated use, is multilingual and provides efficient services like wake-up calls and opening the blinds.

“Guest room control solutions with remotes and voice command are becoming standard expectations,” says Adam Holladay, director of hospitality solutions and marketing for Harman. “Even more significant is the ability to interface with hotel operating systems to enhance the guest experience beyond their room, such as having the valet bring the car up or texting your room to optimize the temperature when you return for the day.”

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