This week, Hotel Check-In heads to Baltimore to find the latest “gee wiz” tech gadgets and services that hotels will consider buying as travel rebounds and their profits grow.
Why Baltimore? That’s where the world’s largest hospitality technology trade show, HITEC, is being held this year. Hoteliers from Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, IHG and other companies will gather to kick the tires on the latest hotel tech products and chat with their salespeople.
Among the futuristic, tech-driven items made specifically for guest rooms that we’ll look for on the exhibit floor for an upcoming photo gallery:
- Smart TVs
- Connectivity panels
- Electronic door locks
- Temperature controls
- Beds with a massage function
Some of the niftiest items will be in one place: HITEC’s “Guestroom 20X” hotel-room-of-the-future exhibit, which changes every year. On my list:
- A bed made in the USA by New York-based Reverie that adjusts to multiple positions and contains both zero gravity and massage functions.
- A mini-bar by Bartec that’s supposed to increase profits for hoteliers and can be customized to blend in with a room’s decor.
- An electronic door lock system by Vincard Elsafe that lets guests check in remotely using their smartphone, iPad or other mobile device, and then use that device as their virtual guestroom key. The guestroom is unlocked simply by holding the phone near an access reader.
- A next-gen smart TV from Samsung that promises to improve the quality and functionality of the hotel TV.
Still, with the hotel industry continuing to recover from the recession, trade magazine Hotel Management says that many vendors will also try to appeal to hoteliers’ practical side.
Systems that keep guests’ credit card number and other personal information private will be a priority, for instance, because “the wrong approach can lead to costly theft and potential lawsuits,” the article says.
Readers: Is there anything special you’d like me to look for? If you’re going to be at HITEC, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can try to meet up.