Hilton’s “Connected Room” runs from a guest’s smartphone, a beta-tested concept in a handful of hotels but expected to roll out to more hotels worldwide in 2018.

Marriott is also looking to the Internet of Things (IoT) to transform the hotel guest experience, working on their own version of a connected room from its Innovation Lab, housed in its main headquarters office in Maryland. The IoT Guestroom Lab compares what this technology might look like for a completely newbuild hotel with what that experience could be like in already existing hotel rooms, with minimal construction or infrastructure changes.

12.5% of US households were considered to be in smart homes by the end of 2016, expected to rise to28% by 2021, and it is expected that consumers are starting to demand at least the same level of technology in the hotel guest room, bringing challenges related to cost, infrastructure and security as well as the ability to deal with a variety of devices rather than ecosystems of single brands such as all Apple, all Google, all Amazon.

This article discusses how Hilton’s mobile-centric Connected Room, with everything controlled via apps, but without voice activation, can grow and expand as technology changes; Marriott’s partnership approach with technology giants Legrand and Samsung to bring its own IoT guest room to life with smart technology around artwork, fitness and food delivery; and how to convince hotel owners to invest heavily in technology as the way forward, without leaving traditional guests behind while chasing the technologically adventurous.

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