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

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