Marriott unveils the hotel room of the future and raises the question – Will tech ever replace the human element at luxury hotels? and the Hospitality Niche?

It’s no secret that the Internet of Things (IoT) is proliferating at an incredible pace. Gartner predicts that this year, 8.4 billion devices will be connected at some capacity.

This movement is steadily transforming the way we live, work, and play. Case in point? Marriott International recently revealed its new, innovative Hotel Room of the Future. Partnering with digital pioneers Samsung and Legrand, the hospitality giant is changing the traditional overnight lodging experience into a voice-activated smart stay that elevates customer service beyond the traditional chocolates on your pillow.

Need a 6:30 a.m. wakeup call? A voice-activated personal assistant can handle that. Want to look in that full-length mirror and take part in an online yoga class? No problem. You can even contact housekeeping services or start your shower to the degree you prefer, by simply stating your request aloud.

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For non-luxury brands, this provides a valuable opportunity to cater to guests in a way that was previously unavailable, or limited in scope at best.

For instance, brick-and-mortar gym instructors can tap into this online potential and reach clients at Marriotts across the globe. Not only does this increase traffic, it also builds brand awareness and can play a major role in bottom line improvements.

Moving forward, there may also be other opportunities for companies to tap into this tech-savvy opportunity. As concierges or receptionists give way to virtual voice assistants, we can’t help but think of how an Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple Siri would sound beside our nightstand. Cuing up the perfect playlist for a romantic stay in a penthouse suite has never been easier. We also look forward to ordering takeout at midnight just by speaking the command.

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As the technology continues to sophisticate, the possibilities are virtually endless for advancement and Marriott reveals a longer-term, five-year plan is in the works to explore further IoT applications.

Creating a seamless user experience is always top of mind across the hospitality industry, and doing so just got a lot easier. As we look into 2018 and beyond, the potential for connectedness is only increasing, and time will tell how quickly and intricately these new features are integrated. That business trip you have booked for the beginning of next year? Your stay might look a little different – and a lot better.

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