THE ‘SMART’ HOTEL ROOM
All the major players in the hotel space – including Hilton and Marriott – seem to be working on a “smart” or “connected” hotel room, with AccorHotels the latest big group to make a noise about the progress it is making, with the company testing technology that uses voice activation and the internet to make the hotel room experience more accessible and personalized.
A model smart room at the company’s Paris headquarters incorporates a variety of technologies and accessibility features to accommodate up to three guests at a time.
- A Google Home voice assistant
- A connected tablet that controls lighting, music, the bed headboard, curtains,
TV, and other audio-visual equipment in the room
- A special LED lighting system that senses motion at night to automatically
- Sleep aids, like Dodow, described as a “luminous metronome that promotes both concentration or sleep,” and a Dreem headband that has “brain energy sensors and a relaxation system.”
- Aromatherapy aids like Sensorwake, which helps you wake up to a certain aroma, like coffee, tea, or a sea breeze, and Skinjay shower capsules that contain essential oils.
“Voice is the future,” says Damien Perrot, Senior Vice-President of Design Solutions for AccorHotels. “To be able to use it to access the TV, go to Netflix directly, or select your favourite song — we’re hoping to connect all of those elements to enhance the guest room experience. All of these elements and innovation in technology help improve the usage of the room.”
AccorHotels is testing the use of both voice activation and in-room tablets.
Perrot said the decision to use an in-room tablet was prompted by the fact that “many guests don’t want to have to download another app that they only use when they’re in the hotel. For this room, the decision was to put in a real tablet with all the functionality already built in, and they can use the tablet to connect everything.”