Check into Hilton’s ‘connected room’ for a more modern hotel experience

Walking into a hotel room that’s too hot or too cold may not be the hardest thing you have to deal with in any given day, but hotel companies know that if you’re paying out big bucks for a room, things can make a difference.

That’s why Hilton’s latest smartphone app is incorporating a bunch of new features so you can set up your room just how you like it for when you arrive, travel website Skift reported this week.

“A guest will be able to save preferences in the app, such as by favoriting a TV channel or setting a thermostat, and their selections will be applied when they check in,” Joshua Sloser, senior vice president of digital product, told Skift.

So when you enter the room, it’ll feel perfect right from the off, and when you turn on the TV, your channel of choice will be the first to appear so you don’t have to plow through hundreds of others in a bid to track it down.

“The end goal is that the experience will travel with the guest consistently and seamlessly as they visit various [Hilton] brands in various countries,” Sloser said of the company’s new concept, dubbed “the connected room.”

The app already lets you view room layouts and choose a room prior to booking, and you can also use it to check in so you can skip the front desk, head straight to your room, and unlock the door with your smartphone. The updated app throws in a few more goodies for when you’re inside the room, including TV remote with all the channels options showing up on your display (favorite any you like for fast access), light controller, and thermostat.

Sloser claimed Hilton is the first in the industry to “enable connected guest rooms with an integration at scale in a consistent experience.”

For anyone without a smartphone or who simply don’t want to fiddle around with it, Hilton is launching a “simplified” remote to fiddle around with instead. Failing that, you’ll have to actually have to move your body close to the various devices and adjust them manually.

According to Skift, Hilton isn’t yet ready to incorporate voice activation for controlling room amenities, thought that’s likely to become a feature at some point down the road.

The revamped app’s new features will be tested first at the Hilton in Memphis, Tennessee, by guests enrolled in Hilton’s “Honors” loyalty program. The hotel chain wants to have it rolling out to more properties in the next few weeks before taking it to all of its U.S. properties during 2018.

We like the sound of Hilton’s efforts, but we’d also like to see a few robots dropping by to help, or even an entire hotel run by robots. Hang on a minute, one of those already exists


Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.

Here’s how to install Windows on a Chromebook

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so, just in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only…
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.

Save money and control your home’s temperature with these smart thermostat deals

With the winter season in full blast, there's no better time to save money with a smart home thermostat. We found the best deals available on smart home thermostats. Control your home's heating via smartphone or voice assistants.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.