January 29th, 2013 | Jena Tesse Fox

More touch-screen technology in more hotel rooms

29 Jan, 2013 By: Jena Tesse Fox


The New York Daily News has a fascinating study today of how hotels around the world are incorporating tablet computers and touch-screens for guestrooms and public spaces.

Hotels like the Plaza in New York have developed their own interfaces for iPads that give guests full control over every element of their stay from ordering dinner to summoning the concierge. Interestingly, the idea predates the device: Before the device's launch, the Plaza had its own touchscreen system in rooms—but it was limited and confusing for guests.

But today, just three years after their debut, iPads are increasingly ubiquitous in hotel rooms. The Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, the Four Seasons in Toronto and all Beachtree hotels now offer iPads to every guest that offer a range of functions, from concierge services to in-room device management. In Switzerland, The Dom (the oldest hotel in Saas-Fee) underwent a makeover last year that installed in-room iPads to control windows, TVs and temperature, CNN is reporting.

Apple doesn't have the monopoly on in-room touch-screens, however: Microsoft, through its Surface 1.0 and PixelSense software devices was actually the first major technology company to experiment with how touch screens and computers can add to a hotel guest's experience. Since 2008, the Sheraton group has been using the 30-inch table-top PCs in its lobbies and communal areas to help guests research local attractions, share travel and sight-seeing advice with other hotel guests and for playing multi-player games with their children while waiting to be served.

Likewise, the computers have become a fixture in Las Vegas where a number of casino and resort bars have been using them as interactive tables where clients can order drinks, pick the next track on the jukebox and even flirt with those sitting at other tables.

And technology giant Philips has been working with hospitality companies to understand the best ways of combining these technologies for the benefit of guests. As company spokesperson Santa van der Laarse explains: "We increasingly see a trend in hospitality lighting of mood lighting according to the time of day or activity type, and personalization of lighting by guests. In the hospitality area we thus offer lighting solutions that follow daylight rhythms, for instance breakfast or dinner light settings in hotel restaurants, or different light settings for different times of day in hotel lobbies and meeting rooms. We are also working on guest management control systems to allow guests to personalize the light settings."

At the citizen M hotel in the Netherlands, Philips has developed lighting and connectivity technologies that are designed to personalize every element of a guest's stay from what music is playing in their rooms to whether or not the curtains are open or closed. Using something called a MoodPad ambient controller, guests can control the character of the ambient lighting in their room according to their mood or the atmosphere they want to create, from relaxing to productive. The MoodPad also doubles as a TV remote control and a device for going online.


Topic : iPad, in-room iPads
External Source : NY Daily News, CNN

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