Hilton Looks To Connected Rooms To Transform Customer Experience

Hilton is working toward connected hotel rooms.

However, it’s a complex process for a hospitality company with 16 brands in 109 countries, comprising more than 5,000 properties.

After an examination of its internal technological capabilities and an evaluation of off-the-shelf solutions, Hilton decided to develop its own connected room platform.

“There was not a platform we could buy off the shelf,” Naveen Manga, vice president customer journey technology and delivery at Hilton, told attendees in a presentation at the annual Gartner Symposium at the Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Resort in Orlando this week.

The connected room is considered a high-tech foundation for future innovation including entertainment, connectivity and personalization.

Hilton partnered with Showtime and Netflix for streaming content and Honeywell for thermostats.

“We can’t do it all, so we rely on connected room partnerships,” Manga said.

As any regular traveler knows, digital keys to lock and unlock hotel doors is becoming common.

One issue Hilton found was that the locks require batteries.

“With the digital key, the most common complaint is the battery goes bad,” said Manga. “But with connected room, we are constantly monitoring the battery power on the doors.”

The Hilton mobile app is a central piece of the connected room puzzle.

“We wanted to make the app a command center for the room,” Manga says. “The controller is the set top box and it talks to the IoT devices in the room.”

Manga said 70% of the hotel rooms are unoccupied during the day and that with connected rooms, lights can be remotely turned off.

The connected rooms are in about 25 hotels at the moment as pilot projects, though the objective is to connect hotel rooms worldwide.

“It’s a long road map,” says Manga.

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