Imagine being able to set your favorite TV channels, optimal room temperature and turn the lights off from the comfort of your hotel room bed, all on your own mobile device. It’s not a pipe dream: Welcome to Hilton’s Connected Room.
Through the award-winning Hilton Honors app, guests can use their mobile device as the in-room remote to control their television programming, lighting, and temperature controls –personalizing their preferences just as they do at home.
Josh Weiss, Vice President of Brand and Guest Technology at Hilton, explains how and why Connected Room came to life and where it’s going next:
Q: What inspired the Connected Room concept?
Global travel is growing, and travelers increasingly expect an experience as good as, and ideally better than, what they are accustomed to at home. Hospitality companies have an exciting challenge to find new ways to offer guests the control, connectivity and personalization they increasingly want when they’re on the road. Hilton has answered the call with our Connected Room platform, which is rooted in the unique needs of each guest. Guests in a Connected Room can:
- Click on “favorites” – and their preferred viewing channels and streaming apps will appear first in the Hilton Honors app.
- Set their preferred temperature, so when they return to their room they’re not too cold or hot.
- Access their favorite streaming media brands from their in-room TV to continue watching the show or movie they were streaming before their trip, for example. Through our industry-first relationship with SHOWTIME, guests don’t need any credentials to stream hundreds of hours of shows and movies.
Q: Who came up with the Connected Room concept?
Connected Room was created by Hilton’s IT and Digital team to address a wide range of opportunities. These include delivering an outstanding guest experience, providing operational efficiencies to hotel owners and operators, and enabling better troubleshooting and support, including pushing software updates through the platform to create new experiences and offer new features.
Q: Where can I find a property with Connected Room technology?
We have deployed the technology in nearly 500 rooms to date across four hotels near Memphis, and we will soon expand to thousands of additional rooms across five more brands, in multiple locations.
While some of the features are immediately available, we’re taking a dynamic approach to identify, create, and deliver many others in the future, based on what’s most important to our guests. The platform was designed to evolve throughout its rollout and will ultimately scale to Hilton’s global operation across more than 100 countries and 14 current brands.
Q: Hilton recently announced that it will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030 through its Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy. Does Connected Room have an environmental benefit?
Absolutely. For example, when guests aren’t physically in their booked rooms – typically around 70% of the time – hotels can power down devices such as the television, HVAC, and lights, dramatically reducing energy consumption.
We apply AI and machine learning to optimize energy efficiency and guest comfort; we do not view these as a tradeoff. We believe that through Connected Room, we can open up new, advanced ways of tracking and reducing energy consumption around the world, and continue to be a leader in sustainability.
Q: Do I need the Hilton Honors app to access Connected Room functions and features?
The Hilton Honors app is the only way to access Connected Room controls and other technology conveniences from your mobile device. For example, Hilton Honors members are already able to use the app to check in digitally before arrival, select their room from a digital map, and open their hotel room’s door with their mobile phone thanks to the app’s Digital Key function. In addition, Hilton Honors members can also enjoy instant benefits, including an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.
However, the app isn’t mandatory to enjoy Connected Room TV features – Hilton will continue to enhance the television remote and TV user experience and build room controls into the TV so all guests can access all features of Connected Room.
Q: How does Connected Room technology influence future innovations?
Hilton began beta testing Connected Room in 2017 and it will evolve throughout its rollout. Because it is a platform, much like with an Apple or Android mobile device, we can push new features, apps, and functionality to existing devices over time without the need to deploy additional hardware. For guests, this means that in the longer term they’ll be able to do things such as upload their photos and art to display digitally in the room, or connect to new devices. They’ll also be able to enjoy new features much faster than we could roll out these capabilities today. They may also be able to use voice commands to control their room’s features or to access their content.
There’s a benefit to Hilton franchise owners too, who sometimes face challenges implementing new technology due to high costs and operational challenges. Connected Room will make it easier for them to keep pace with the rapid change in technology and easily integrate new innovations seamlessly into the guest experience.
Beeline and Huawei Conduct the First 5G Holographic Call in Russia
VimpelCom (Beeline brand) and Huawei held a demonstration showcasing the latest fifth generation (5G) mobile connection technologies. The Moscow Museum exhibition hall was used as the demonstration zone and the dialogue between the speakers was conducted using a hologram – a digitized image transmitted through Mixed Reality glasses (MR). Holographic communication technology requires high bandwidth and low latency, which will only be made possible by the mass deployment of 5G networks.
During the demonstration, the companies used frequencies between 26,600–27,200 MHz that had been temporarily allocated to Beeline. This spectrum range is within the 3GPP standardized band n258.
A commercially available Huawei 5G base station – the gNodeB – was used to make the holographic call. The base station consists of an active antenna array (HAAU 5213) and a new generation of BBU5900 digital processing module with a 5G board. The radio interface uses TDD mode in the 100 MHz frequency band and MIMO 64×64 technology. One of the first commercially available 5G CPE devices based on the Huawei Balong5G01 chipset is selected as the subscriber terminal, which includes an RF module (ODU) and 5G/WiFi router (IDU).
Beeline and Huawei also demonstrated a practical 5G virtual reality (VR) use case using an online broadcast from a 360-degree camera housed in a VR helmet. The technology can potentially be used to enhance user experience in terms of remote travel. For example, Beeline customers can visit an operator’s shop, acquire a tariff plan, or buy a smartphone, while physically located in the comfort of their own home.
Vasyl Latsanych, CEO of PJSC VimpelCom, said, “The rapid development of modern technologies sets a precedence for operators to provide subscribers with high-quality mobile communications at high speeds. That’s why Beeline is already preparing its network infrastructure and is conducting research on how to make a rational transition to 5G technologies. We simply wish to offer our subscribers an understanding of how such technologies can become an integral part of their daily lives, and how they can simplify and improve their user experience. That is why it is growing increasingly important for Beeline to test real business use cases and explore the potential client capabilities of fifth-generation mobile technologies.”
Aiden Wu, CEO of Huawei in Russia, said, “This May 2018, Beeline and Huawei signed an agreement to pursue the joint development of 5G in Russia. Our cooperation has been extremely productive, which today’s demonstration has quite clearly shown. We will continue working together to bring the implementation of a new communication standard closer to becoming a worldwide phenomenon and speed up the process of creating new technologies and services based on this standard.”
Samsung AKG N700NC Wireless Headphones Now Available in the US
Following the launch of a new lineup of first-class wireless AKG headphones last month, Samsung Electronics America today announced the new AKG N700NC Wireless Headphones are now available for purchase just in time for the holiday season.
Combining the best in design with AKG’s award-winning sound technology, the AKG N700NC Wireless are the ideal over-ear headphones for music lovers who want best-in-class audio.
With adaptive noise cancelling, users can control how much surrounding noise they want to let in – so they can immerse themselves in the music or keep an ear open to the world around them – all with the push of a button.
World-class audio technology eliminates echoes, striking the perfect balance between noise cancellation and ambient awareness and resulting in crystal clear voice calls. And with battery life that lasts up to 20 hours, users can listen to music throughout the day without having to worry about charging.
Stay Connected No Matter Where You Are with the New Samsung Galaxy Watch
Samsung introduced the Samsung Galaxy Watch, a premium, powerful smartwatch for those who want to do it all — and look good while doing it. Its long-lasting battery and LTE connectivity gives consumers a true standalone experience. With advanced wellness features and fitness tracking, it helps you achieve your health goals. And with Samsung’s signature rotating bezel and more robust lineup of style options including three new watch color finishes in Silver, Midnight Black and Rose Gold, and new watch band colors, you get a smartwatch that looks like a traditional timepiece and is intuitive to use.
“At Samsung, we have a long history of providing consumers with choice, while maintaining innovation within our products, and we are excited to continue the proud heritage of our Galaxy line with our wearables,” said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. “The new Galaxy Watch was designed for all lifestyles to help meet consumer needs, such as more efficient battery life to stay connected longer, and better wellness tracking to help users maintain their goals – we are delivering them with connected experiences, all at the touch of a wrist.”
Everyone has different health, wellness, and fitness goals; no matter what they are, Galaxy Watch helps you meet them. With a new stress management tracker, Galaxy Watch tracks your heart rate, and provides breathing exercises to help users stay focused. In addition, the Galaxy Watch’s advanced sleep tracking monitors all levels of sleep, including REM cycles, to help users get the rest they need to take on their day.
The Galaxy Watch’s advanced fitness tracking features keep you motivated, and on track. It automatically tracks six of the most popular exercises — walking, running, cycling, elliptical, training, rowing, and dynamic workouts — and features 21 new indoor exercises from a selection of 39 activities. And because balanced nutrition is as important as exercise, the Galaxy Watch is designed to help users track food and water intake. Input your meals and get personalized alerts from Samsung Health, or, use Bixby on your Galaxy device to automatically count calories, and get a personalized summary on your Galaxy Watch.
Personalization to Match Any Lifestyle
A watch is the classic fashion accessory, and the Galaxy Watch lets users express their own unique style. It offers more sizes and styles with a 46mm version in Silver, as well as a 42mm option in Midnight Black and Rose Gold. Users can further customize with a selection of watch faces and watch band options available on Samsung.com. The Galaxy Watch is designed with Samsung’s signature, circular rotating bezels while embracing the digital look with Always On Display, in addition to improved usability — making it easier to get the most out of the device, with the look of a traditional timepiece. And the Galaxy Watch is ready to go where you go. It is certified military-level durability with Corning® Gorilla® Glass DX+ and 5 ATM water resistance, so it can go from the swimming pool to the shower without leaving your wrist.
Stay Connected – No Matter Where Your Day Takes You
The Galaxy Watch is designed with your active lifestyle in mind and has an improved battery life that gets days of power on a single charge— as well as low-energy architecture, so users can recharge on their schedule, not their watch’s. And with LTE connectivity, Samsung Galaxy Watch users can enjoy a true standalone experience. They can answer calls, respond to text messages, use GPS mapping, stream music, and more, all from their wrist, and all without a smartphone in their pocket. Users can also start and end their day with morning and evening briefings to help stay on top of reminders, weather and their latest schedule.
Experience the Best of Samsung’s Galaxy Ecosystem
The Galaxy Watch is more than a smartwatch, it’s part of the Galaxy Ecosystem. Users can enjoy a seamless experience with Samsung Health, Samsung Pay, Bixby, SmartThings and select third-party partnerships such as Spotify and Under Armour. Easily access and control your IoT compatible devices on the Galaxy Watch with SmartThings — turn on the lights in the morning or adjust the temperature before bed. Samsung makes music and multimedia control even easier on the Galaxy Watch with Spotify, allowing users to listen to songs offline or without a smartphone. It’s also easy to keep information secure thanks to Samsung Knox, and unlock PCs or tablets using Samsung Flow.
Preorder and Availability
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Bluetooth 42mm version will be available for $329.99, and the 46mm version will be available for $349.99 in the US at Amazon, Best Buy and Samsung.com starting August 24, 2018.
The Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE version will be available at AT&T, Samsung.com, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, along with select major national retailers later in 2018.
Pre-orders begin on August 10, 2018, and run through August 23, 2018 on Samsung.com. Consumers who preorder or order Galaxy Watch before September 8, 2018 on Samsung.com will receive a free Samsung watch band.
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