UPDATE: In the near future, your hotel room will know exactly how you like to sleep
By Kari Paul, MarketWatch
Hilton CEO says the company is already experimenting with smart rooms
Soon, you will be able to step into your hotel room and the thermostat will automatically adjust to the temperature you like. Netflix and Hulu accounts on the TV will be programmed to play your favorite shows, and your preferred beer will be chilling in the refrigerator.
"Imagine a world where the room knows you and you know your room," Hilton (HLT) chief executive officer Christopher J. Nassetta said this week at Skift Global Forum (https://forum.skift.com). Hilton is currently testing a "smart room" connected to a computer system and they will roll out within the next year, Nassetta said. The update is the latest personalized offering from the hotel chain.
The company already offers an app-based messaging service that connects visitors with local activities (https://skift.com/2016/09/06/hiltons-newest-app-feature-ups-the-game-in-guest-personalization/) tailored to their interests using Bluetooth. Marriott has offered guests a similar app since 2014 (https://skift.com/2014/11/28/marriott-expands-its-beacon-localperks-program-to-more-hotels/).
Hilton isn't the first to bring personalized automation to hotel rooms. Starwood integrated tablet features (https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/roadwarriorvoices/2016/02/19/hotel-tablets/80631526/) into a "smart mirror" in select locations in 2016 and The Peninsula Chicago outfitted all hotel rooms with tablets that allow visitors to personalize many aspects of their stay. Like Hilton's plans for personalized rooms, Starwood's offerings also include preset TV channels and thermostats.
Many high tech options in hotel rooms revolve around voice command features, with hotels including Marriott and Wynn Resorts installing digital assistants like Amazon's Alexa in hotel rooms (https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/27/amazons-alexa-and-apples-siri-are-waging-war-over-the-hotel-room/). That, of course, is something Airbnb hosts can offer just as easily.
In fact, this hyper-personalized future is slowly but surely coming to travel's biggest companies, who are fighting to remain relevant as they face competition from Airbnb and other alternative lodging (https://www.smartertravel.com/2016/05/20/will-airbnb-kill-hotel-business/). More than 20% of hotels (https://insights.samsung.com/2015/12/23/2015-hospitality-trends-in-review-taking-hotel-in-room-technology-to-the-next-level/) plan to integrate smart features like lighting and drapery that suit your mood and, in theory, help you get a good night's sleep.