Friday, March 18, 2011

Motella Visits The Sydney Hotel Hospitality and Design Expo

It appears that my free VIP invite to attend the Hotel Hospitality and Design expo that was held in Sydney over the past few days was lost in the post...

One exhibit that I would have liked to have checked-out was the "Hotel Room of the Future" that showcased the latest in technology from suppliers that were in attendance.

Not one to be discouraged about being overlooked once again, I have decided to undertake a virtual tour of the "Hotel Room of the Future" exhibit:

The ability for guests to check-in and manage their in-room dining via their mobile phone was provided by MyStayManager smartphone technology. To access the room you call a number and then hold up your mobile phone to the top of the door handle to unlock it. This is a great feature, however we can imagine that the iPhone's notoriously short-battery life could come into play by not allowing some hapless guests with a flat phone battery to check-in to their room late at night;-)

Once inside the room, guests can play videos, music and explore their location from a coffee table with a large touch screen embedded on top. The NSquared device enables the guest to virtually explore by a giant touch-screen the hotel and surrounds, order room service or build an itinerary for their stay and send it to the front desk.

The hotel's Suite Control allows the hotelier to configure individual guest rooms' heating/cooling system, the TV, lights and other appliances remotely, from any Internet connection. And guests using an in-room touch screen or an iPad (as used by Charlie Sheen) can control curtains, lights, temperature, TV, music, schedule wake-up calls, request valet and more.

The iGlass window can switch from clear to white at the touch of a button, providing increased privacy. Based on liquid crystal polymer technology, it switches over within 20 milliseconds to hide you from the outside world.

In a similar style to those hilarious over-engineered Japanese bathroom accessories a sensor in the hotel's toilet will open the lid for if guests come within 1.8m. Guests will feel like a king once perched on the heated seat "throne" and once the job is done will enjoy the integrated warm air dryer and built-in air purifying system. As guests depart to indulge with further gadgetry outside the bathroom, the toilet will automatically flush and close the lid.

Housekeeping will appreciate the "Self-cleaning" ACTIVE tiles on the bathroom floor that have an anti-bacterial layer claiming to break down pollutants in the air and be self-cleaning.

The "Bartech" fridge that automatically registers and charges when a drink is removed seems to be old-school technology but is still pretty cool.

When it comes to sleeping, AH Beard have created a bed with an ergomotion base that claims to let guests experience "zero gravity" along with three massaging settings via a wireless remote. The beds are currently available in stores for around AUD $10,000, but the company confidently predicts that they will be coming to more four or five-star Australian hotels soon.

So there you have it...still would have preferred being at the expo live and fiddling with all those remote controls and touch screens. I wonder if they would have let me try out that quirky automated hotel toilet?

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