Smart Hotel Rooms: The Internet of Things is Changing Things

We carry our smart devices around with us, wear some of them, and have smart appliances in our kitchen. It’s about time that we experience the same kind of technology when we travel. The hotel chain Premier Inn is introducing smart hotel rooms that can be controlled from a patron’s smartphone.

Some are already used to the idea of running a home from a phone. Home security systems have been upgraded to home automation systems. These allow for everything from turning on and off lights at prescribed times, to checking the coffee pot from work (to make sure you didn’t leave it on in your rush to get out the door in the morning).

These smart hotel rooms will allow you to book, check-in, and check-out using your phone; but there is a lot more to it than that. You can also use your phone as a thermostat to control room temperature—without having to figure out how the HVAC unit works. Or, if you prefer, you can control the television and radio, as well as stream content directly to from device. This means your downloaded movies on your smart phone can play on the room’s 42-inch HDTV, so don’t worry about packing your Blu-Ray discs.

Of course, such technology isn’t without cost, and we are used to these being passed down to the consumer. However, Whitbread (the parent company of Premier Inn), doesn’t want these rooms to be only for the elite. The idea is to keep the rooms small, and pack more rooms into the hotel, so that rates can be affordable for the average traveler.

The first of these hotels is opening later this year with a total of four slated for 2015. Whitbread hopes to have 40 hotels with smart hotel rooms across the UK within four years.