The hospitality industry is looking to give hotels a high-tech upgrade. Among the innovations likely to appear in hotels over the next few years are:
- Self-check-in kiosks, similar to those used by airlines to obtain boarding passes. The Holiday Inn chain is already piloting a check-in kiosk.
- TVs that deliver guests' hometown news, as well as channels from around the world.
- Docking stations for iPods (Hilton hotels have been providing iPod-friendly alarm clocks for the past year).
- Lights that allow guests to adjust the wall color.
- Ubiquitous, free Internet access.
- Iris scanners in place of key cards.
- Room cleaning systems that use an "ozone shock treatment" to wipe out foul odors, dust mites and mold.
- Rooms that "remember" the preferences of frequent guests (temperature, TV stations, favorite room service orders, speed-dial numbers on the phone, etc.).
- Pervasive sensors that monitor a guest's health and alert the front desk if a problem is detected. This may seem invasive to some, but may be welcomed by others, particularly elderly travelers.
- Increased use of eco-friendly, organic amenities.
Through it all, hotels hope to distinguish themselves from the competition and increase guest satisfaction while cutting costs. (And, hopefully, these high-tech hotel venues for our meetings will do the same for our associations.)
[ via FutureWire ]