The Hilton hotel group is adding smart home features to its rooms starting next year.
Guests will control their room's lighting: bedroom, bathroom, lamps and balcony, for example. They'll also set the room's temperature and control various features on the TV, even setting preferred channels, all from the Hilton Honors smartphone app — which already supports check-in and remote unlocking of their room. The new features are being beta tested now.
A new TV controller in each room will also run the app, with access to lights and temperature control — for those guests who haven't downloaded the program to their smartphone. The new remote will be simpler to use and have fewer buttons.
Voice control is also on the roadmap, says Hilton, which has than 570 properties across the globe, according to its web site. Although the hotel hasn't confirmed these details, rooms could potentially have an Amazon Echo or Google Home, which operate via voice commands to run lights, thermostat and entertainment.
Smaller British chain Village Hotels, which has 29 properties, does have plans, for example, to install an Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker in all of its rooms, allowing guests to interact with Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant, it said in June. The chain will use a skill called Ask Village, where guests can ask the Echo device about hotel amenities — such as swimming pool opening hours - and request a wakeup call.
"At Hilton, almost all digital products are born out of necessity and shortcomings in the marketplace – and Connected Room is no exception," says Joshua Sloser, senior vice president of Digital Product at Hilton.
"The technology we put in hotel rooms has to be intuitive, simple and quick to pick up because guests typically spend a limited amount of time in their rooms and we want them to spend that time enjoying the experience instead of adapting to new technology."