by Kristin Burnham

Hotel Room of the Future Packs Tech Toys

Aug 29, 20072 mins
Consumer ElectronicsIT LeadershipSocial Networking Apps

The year: 2010. The setting: Your hotel room, after a day of business travel. You walk in to find a bevy of technology-fueled amenities—from a digital peephole in your door, to a toilet that lifts its own lid. That’s the vision of Guestroom 2010, the “hotel room of the future,” on display recently at a conference run by the Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP).

After polling frequent travelers on the ins and outs of hotel rooms, HFTP gave the traditional model a makeover. One example: Guestroom 2010 features a technology-laden bathroom, located at the rear of the room rather at its usual location near the entrance, says Frank Wolfe, CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals.

Not all the 70 ideas featured in Guestroom 2010 may interest hotel companies, but HFTP’s goal is to start the discussion, Wolfe says. Here are a few of the examples on display.

  • Neorest 600 Toilet by TOTO USA: Equipped with sensors, this toilet automatically opens when you approach it, then closes and flushes when you’re finished. It also includes a heated seat and automatic air deodorizer.

  • Empty-Food-Tray-Detection System by Axxess Industries: This RFID-based system detects trays placed outside guest rooms and alerts staff for a quick pickup. Transmitters are placed on the food trays.

  • Smart Mill & Brew Coffeemaker ME1MSB by Melitta USA: This 10-cup coffeemaker shows up-to-the-minute weather forecasts from MSN Direct. Region-specific data is transmitted via FM signal.

  • Digital Door Viewer by First View Security: To make visitors outside hotel rooms more easily identifiable, a flat-screen LCD displays an image captured by a tiny digital camera on the exterior of the door.