Sunday, March 20, 2011
A Look at Hotels of the Future
Daily Mail: Zero gravity beds, self-darkening windows and a mobile phone app to open your room door.
These are just some of the ideas travel experts are predicting will transform the hotel rooms of the future. And the unusual updates could be closer to becoming reality than we think. Prototype touchscreen coffee tables have already been developed, allowing guests to play music and videos and look up information about their location from the comfort of the sofa.
And three new applications have also been released, enabling holidaymakers to order room service and make special requests to the front desk using their mobile phones. Hoteliers are also hoping to invent self-cleaning tiles for bathrooms with a special anti-bacterial layer for extra hygiene.
And automated toilets could soon lift the lid as soon as they detect a person nearby and automatically flush and close when the person leaves. Privacy will also be a major consideration in the hotels of the future, with iGlass windows allowing guests to change them from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.
One of the most exciting developments on the cards is the zero gravity bed, which is said to move you into a position so that you feel weightless while also giving you a massage. But new hotel technology will not just be about improving the customer experience, but also better monitoring what people do in their rooms.
Minibars are likely to have sensors, meaning they can detect when a drink has been taken and automatically add it to your bill. You'll be given a set amount of time to return the item if you change your mind about it, but once that time has lapsed you will have officially bought it.
Hotels are already trialling some revolutionary ideas. Guests at several hotel chains around the world can use apps on their mobile phones to check in and open their room doors, meaning they don't have to carry a key and can avoid lengthy queues at reception.