Syncing Up Home Comforts With IoT Hotel Rooms
Travel brands are investing in IoT to deliver personalized experiences at a mass scale
Consumers don’t want to sacrifice the conveniences and personal comforts of daily life just because they’re on the road. But mass travel experiences often fail to deliver on these expectations. Brands are responding with tech-forward solutions and on-demand services that give customers the control and customization that they crave, bringing the feeling of home to life during more and more aspects of their journey.
Christopher J. Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton, notes that tech-enabled ‘mass personalization’ is now an industry priority. “Imagine a room where anywhere you travel with us in the world we are personalizing, no matter whether you’re in Bangkok or New York City or Reading, Pennsylvania. We know you and what your preferences are because you’ve told us that, and our rooms are adapting to you—they essentially are connected to you,” he said at the 2017 Skift Global Forum.
When PSFK researchers surveyed travel and innovation experts for our Travel Debrief report, 69% responded that synced preferences and profiles that provide the comforts of home will be important or very important for travelers in the next two to three years. Hand in hand with this is an emphasis on connected spaces, with 58% of experts agreeing that in-room or in-cabin IoT is the most important tech to invest in to meet future traveler demand.
Major hospitality groups are already acting on this trend. Hilton introduced its Connected Room concept to transform the hotel room into a mobile-centric personalized experience. Guests who opt into Hilton’s loyalty program will be able to personalize their stays in the Connected Room using the Hilton Honors mobile app. While the app already gives members the ability to pick their own room when digitally checking in, use it as a room key and view floor plans, new IoT features allow guests to adjust the room’s lighting, HVAC and entertainment options, including pre-loaded and streaming content.
Meanwhile, French multinational hotel group AccorHotels debuted a concept smart room that comes with voice features that let guests customize their stay. The room includes a Google Home voice assistant and connected tablets to let guests control various features of the room, including the lighting, music, curtains, TV and even the position of the headboard on the bed. The room also features Dodow, a metronome-like light system to help people fall asleep, a Dreem headband wearable to improve sleep quality and a Sensorwake, an aroma-based alarm clock.
As IoT continues to gain traction in daily routines, consumers will increasingly seek it out in travel experiences. Brands can invest now to ensure their guests find a home away from home, no matter the destination.
Lead Image: Backpacker in hotel room via Shutterstock