Hotels around the world are using tech in surprising ways. The Yotel brand puts much of the check-in experience in the hands of its guests. This is particularly true at Yotel New York, where electronic check-in terminals dispense room keys and guest luggage is stored with the aid of a giant robot arm.
Yotel New York
Who needs butlers when you have Botlrs? Last year, the Cupertino Aloft Hotel unveiled their answer to The Jetsons' Rosie. The Botlr isn't much of a talker. It's main function it seems it to make deliveries to guests' rooms.
Courtesy Aloft Hotels
By next year, hotels throughout Japan may employ eerily realistic-looking robots to check guests in, carry their baggage and even clean the rooms. The Henn-na Hotel in Nagasaki will trial the robots -- which will be multilingual -- when it opens in July.
courtesy HUIS TEN BOSCH/J-16211
More and more, hotels are ditching room keys and letting customers use their phones to gain entrance to their abodes.
"Whilst check-in and door keys on smartphones may seem new now, we expect these to be commonplace in five years," says Graham Long, VP of Samsung's Enterprise Business Team UK&I.
At BLOC Hotels, guests can control all their room settings with their phones.
Courtesy Bloc Hotels
QT Hotels has taken elevator music to a new level. Elvis's "Are You Lonesome Tonight" is among the selections for a single occupant, while a couple -- or just two random individuals -- might be treated to Bill Withers' 'Just the Two of Us.'
The Wit in Chicago has in-room sensors that monitor body temperature and adjust the heating accordingly.
In 2012, the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel became the first in the world to introduce a biometric PayTouch system, which let guests pay for items using a biometric scan of their fingerprints. A year later, guests at the hotel could link their fingerprint scans to their Facebook page and take photos or update their status with a mere touch.
Infrared sensors in the rooms at Seattle's Hotel 1,000 detect guests' body heat and alert staff to their presence. The property also has a virtual golf course in the lobby with infrared tracking systems that allow guests to "play" 50 international golf courses.
London's Eccleston Square Hotel prides itself on being high-tech. Everything in the room, from the music to the lighting, is controlled by touch-sensative keypads. Each room is provided with a personal iPad 2 that lets guests order room service and beauty treatments. Even the shower walls can turn from clear to frosted at the touch of a button.
Courtesy Eccleston Hotel
The rooms in the Prizeotel, Hamburg are fitted with music lamps -- lighting-stereo hybrids that let guests to listen to music via Bluetooth, recharge mobile phones and make phone calls.
Spain's Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine lets guests borrow a pair of Google Glass while they tour the property's vineyards and premises. Any photos taken on the device are saved to a memory card that guests can also take home.
Courtesy Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine
The Peninsula Tokyo has even integrated technology into guest experiences geared towards children. The hotel offers an interactive, Pokemon -themed adventure where the littlest guests seek out clues from ten digital displays throughout the property. The experience culminates in a "secret chamber" that uses advanced optics technology to create a "magic mirror".