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High-Tech Hotels

TheWit Doubletree

Chicago, Illinois

One of the most advanced hotels in the US, theWit uses an IP network throughout the entire hotel that taps into elevators, room sensors, and even the boiler in the basement to help the hotel manage all the technology features. One example: The room senses where you are and can direct heating and cooling for the best temperature level. Each room has an NEC VoIP phone with an LCD display that shows flight information, valet requests, and any wake-up calls. In the hallways and public areas, there’s a faint sound of a babbling brook during the day and crickets at night. Unlike most hotels, the HDTV in the room has a full Web browser.



Epic Hotel

Miami, Florida

An LED sign on each room is the first sign of the high-tech features at the downtown hotel. You can press a button to illuminate a do-not-disturb sign, or a “make up room” indicator. Each room has a desktop PC with Microsoft Office available for getting work done, and you can print down to the front lobby. There’s also an iPod Touch docking station in each room. The lounge in the hotel offers a touchscreen computer for looking up maps, sporting events, and local restaurants.



Sheraton Centre Toronto

Toronto, Canada

The Sheraton Centre in Toronto is equipped with Cisco Telepresence suites, which allow you to connect over a video and audio feed to other telepresence suites in Sheraton hotels in the US and at many international locales, including India and South Africa.The telepresence system, powered by Tata Communications, uses high-definition televisions, matching room decor, and high-fidelity audio – delivered over a reliable network that is not susceptible to Internet congestion – to make it seem like meeting attendees thousands of miles across the globe are sitting in the same room.



The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

Location: Naples, Florida

Beyond the typical iPod docking stations, flat-screen televisions in the room, Wi-Fi access, and a business center that offers free printing, the Ritz-Carlton in Naples has a high-tech lounge called Vue with 40-inch HDTVs for playing games on one of the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or PlayStation 3 systems with the latest games available. There are also a handful of Mac workstations for browsing the Web and playing games.

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