IPTV a 'high tech' draw for hotels

IPTV has become a key ingredient for hotels internationally as part of an IP-based effort to entice and retain visitors in a competitive environment.

The hotels, ranging from Singapore to Paris, "are leveraging a range of technologies to improve operations and guest experience, from beefing up the backend with IP networks to improving customer-facing interfaces," a ZDNet story said.

The story cited Mandarin Orchard in Singapore, which installed an advanced IPTV system that features movies on demand along with access to concierge and dining services all via the television set. There was also an option for express checkout.

The hotel "also launched a second screen offering, allowing guests to use their tablets or other mobile devices to access functions on the hotel's IPTV system from anywhere on the compound, such as watching movies by the pool or at the restaurant," the story continued.

The foundation of the multi-hotel efforts is the ability to leverage IP networks which, in the end, can be the conduits to a range of different services with worldwide implications.

Perhaps the most advanced IP activities, in fact, are not taking place in Southeast Asia but in France, where Novotel has tested a pilot networked room experience supported at the core by a Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Xbox 360 game console and Kinect sensor.

"The room also showcased a Sensorit mirror, also based on Kinect technology, where tags containing information such as time of day would appear on mirrors around the room," the story said.

Elsewhere in France, the Accor group is using IP to take a futuristic shot at guest services at the Pullman in Paris with room access via an RF chi on a mobile phone or keycard, a wall of glass with a see-through TV and a shower encased in Privalight glass that can switch from clear to opaque.

For more:
- ZDNet has this story

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