It’s Vaporware For Now – But Hilton Could (Eventually) Be Onto Something With ‘Connected Room’

Hilton announced their new ‘Connected Room’ concept, which is live at one hotel — the Hilton Garden Inn Memphis — sort of. They promise to add 7 hotels in the coming weeks and roll out in the U.S. only in the coming year.

They’ve already got a good mobile app, at least as far as hotel app functionality goes.

Hilton JFK Airport

They also want to monitor you on property in order to cross-sell you into activities using beacon technology. Hilton Anatole was one of the first two hotels testing this as well.

What’s coming, and Hilton is announcing it before it’s broadly real, is:

  • Saving your preferred temperature for different times of day and implementing those in your room automatically
  • Saving tv and music preferences.
  • Controlling lights and wind shades with your phone.

Guests will able to use voice commands to control their room or access their content, and to upload their own artwork and photos to automatically display in their room. Guests will also be able to set various preferences in their Hilton Honors account profile to further customize their in-room experience to their individual preferences.

Of course hotels have to have electronic blinds before those can be controlled via mobile app. And Hilton admits they don’t even yet have the “technology partners to deliver Internet of Thing (IoT) controls and streaming audio and video content.”

And this stuff isn’t even programmed into the app yet,

The beta version of Connected Room uses a physical remote control to manage the experience, with the goal of supplementing it and all traditional remote controls with the Hilton Honors app before deployment at hotels across the portfolio.

Still, investments are going to have to go in this direction. Hotels are going to have to offer things that Airbnb cannot. And for Hilton doubling down on offering the same easy consistent experience everywhere you go in the world — precisely not being local, quirky, or unique — is their bread and butter. They need to own that.

Here’s their video showing what in-app control of your room will look like, once they offer in-app control of your room.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Don’t want. Don’t need.

    “Beacon technology” = sign out of the app before entering the hotel.

    Phone controlled IoT devices in my room = more potential for things to break, not work, or go haywire. Or have someone hack or inadvertently take control of my room’s devices.

    Technology for technology’s sake is not necessarily a good thing.

    And yes, you can get off my lawn.

  2. Can they do something about reserving actual connecting rooms though?

    That would actually be useful for many of us.

  3. I actually like the idea of controlling the room environment from the phone/voice. Every HVAC system is different. Some blinds work better than others. The idea of having a consistent delivery and a familiar way of operating these things each time I walk into a new room has some appeal.

  4. Seems pretty good to me. Obviously there’s a “big brother” aspect to do this, but seems like a good use of technology to individualize the hotel experience, which is what hotels are pushing into.

    BTW, what are “wind shades”? 🙂

  5. The IoT (Internet of Things) is currently a hackers delight. They could easily enter your room, make off with valuables and disappear…

  6. I’d much rather Hilton take the millions of dollars they are going to spend on this and use it toward getting basics right… like maybe enough staff at the front desk to actually answer the phone when I call down. Or enough staff to check you in without a 20 min wait in line. Or consistently making sure I have my elite status free bottles of water in the room. Or any of the myriad of basic things that go wrong all the time.

    I don’t care one bit about controlling the room temperature through my phone. This sounds like a total waste of money and a desperate attempt to sound cool and hip.

  7. They can’t post a stay in a timely manner
    Their wifi is slow in some of their properties or doesn’t work at all
    Hilton breakfasts are poor in most properties
    Put some money in a better more rewarding program and a better guest experience with the basics and save a fortune on misspent investment

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