Connected Room came to life. The application of AI has gone beyond smart homes and automatic driving, and now marks a new milestone in the hospitality industry.
Hospitality companies have an exciting challenge to find new ways to offer guests the control, connectivity and personalization they increasingly want when they’re on the road. Hilton has answered the call with its Connected Room platform, which is rooted in the unique needs of each guest.
InterContinental Hotel Group hopes its new Smart Rooms, which are powered by artificial intelligence, will improve the customer hotel experience in China’s hospitality industry. From now on, guests staying at InterContinental Beijing Sanlitun and InterContinental Guangzhou Exhibition Centre will be amongst the first to enjoy the AI Smart Rooms. A total of 100 AI powered Club InterContinental suites will be available at InterContinental hotels in gateway cities and key destinations across China within the year.
IHG and Baidu inked a strategic partnership on AI development last November. Since then, the hospitality industry has witnessed a new wave of exploration in this field.
Customised for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the AI solution is developed by Baidu’s DuerOS Platform. It integrates AI technology with hotel operations, and this is supported by hardware upgrade and cloud service.
Unlike traditional guest rooms, the newly launched AI Smart Room will fully embrace voice control technology to deliver a more natural human-computer interactive experience. For instance, guests will be able to freely switch settings between work and leisure modes, and enjoy a more convenient and seamless room service experience. This solution will also further fine-tune the current backstage management system, including customising information and resetting devices, making hotel management a simpler task.
“Millennials are particularly sensitive to technology, often seeking new things to try. The AI Smart Room will undoubtedly be extremely attractive for them, paving the way for a new level of modernisation and consumer satisfaction,” commented Lin Wang, Vice President of Marketing, IHG Greater China.
Guests in a Connected Room can:
Click on “favorites” – and their preferred viewing channels and streaming apps will appear first in the Hilton Honors app.
Set their preferred temperature, so when they return to their room they’re not too cold or hot.
Access their favorite streaming media brands from their in-room TV to continue watching the show or movie they were streaming before their trip, for example. Through IHG’s industry-first relationship with SHOWTIME, guests don’t need any credentials to stream hundreds of hours of shows and movies.
How does Connected Room technology influence future innovations?
“Hilton began beta testing Connected Room in 2017 and it will evolve throughout its rollout, announced Josh Weiss, Vice President of Brand and Guest Technology at Hilton.
“Because it is a platform, much like with an Apple or Android mobile device, we can push new features, apps, and functionality to existing devices over time without the need to deploy additional hardware. For guests, this means that in the longer term they’ll be able to do things such as upload their photos and art to display digitally in the room, or connect to new devices. They’ll also be able to enjoy new features much faster than we could roll out these capabilities today. They may also be able to use voice commands to control their room’s features or to access their content,” added Weiss.
“There’s a benefit to Hilton franchise owners too, who sometimes face challenges implementing new technology due to high costs and operational challenges. Connected Room will make it easier for them to keep pace with the rapid change in technology and easily integrate new innovations seamlessly into the guest experience.”