PC World tests the gadgets and gizmos of a traveling techie’s dreams.
The invitation-only “Room of the Future” is housed in a special Hilton University wing of the property near Los Angeles International Airport. It comes furnished with a legion of next-generation products to enhance guests’ business productivity, comfort, and entertainment.
“Not all the devices that we expect to be a hit with guests are,” notes Barbara Bejan, the hotel’s general manager. “But that’s fine, since the room’s main purpose is to see what guests like and dislike.”
Among the niceties of this high-tech hotel room are:
- a wall-mounted, 42-inch flat-screen HDTV Panasonic plasma television connected to a Technics receiver with surround-sound Bose speakers;
- a Philips DVD/CD player;
- a second, smaller flat-screen LCD monitor next to the Jacuzzi bathtub;
- motion-detection lights that activate when guests enter the room;
- a biometric room safe that uses a thumbprint as the lock and key;
- free broadband, accessible via laptop or the TV;
- a Panja touch-panel remote control that manages lighting levels and room climate; opens and closes the drapes; controls the TV, radio, and DVD player; and even repositions the head and foot of the king-size bed;
- a compressor-less mini-refrigerator that is completely silent;
- a Panasonic massage chair, a heated toilet seat/bidet, a computerized five-nozzle shower, and a defogging bathroom mirror.
Features that click with customers may eventually be implemented in other rooms in the Hilton family of properties, which also includes Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood.
Already a hit is free guest-room printing, Bejan says. Hilton teamed with PrinterOn, a site that enables remote printing. After guests log on to the PrinterOn page devoted to Hilton Garden Inn, they can send a print job to the hotel business center’s color printer, which is available around the clock. Or, guests can forward the print job to another hotel in the chain, which will secure the printout until they arrive at the location.
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