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Tech Talk

(January / February 2017) posted on Mon Mar 06, 2017

An ongoing tidal wave of technology is powering up mind-boggling additions to the toolkit designers can use to shape hotels.

By Matthew Hall

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Based on that premise, the IGF formulated some specific predictions on how technology will impact the look, feel and operations of hotels by the year 2060. Here are some highlights:

3D Makers in Every Room
The need to pack clothes and other amenities when traveling will be a thing of the past. The reason: Hotel rooms of the future will be equipped with next-generation 3D printers, called 3D makers, which will be able to quickly generate clothing and such accessories as razors and toothbrushes.

Crowdsourced Pop-Ups
Future temporary hotels will have their themes and locations decided by digitally cast votes from travelers. The designs that win the most votes will be programmed to self-assemble using large-scale 3D printers.

The traditional hotel bed will be replaced by pod-like sleep chambers with adjoining curved screens that will give occupants access to programs of their own dreams that can be channeled directly into their brains via a neuro-technology link.

DNA-Based Longevity Spas
The days of a getting a simple facial or massage at hotel spa will vanish, replaced by spaces equipped with devices that perform a DNA analysis of the guest, then provide services designed to promote not just wellness, but longevity. Spa offerings will include genetic-based medicine treatments and mind-refreshing drugs.

Clearly, some quantum leaps in technology still need to take place before the above predictions become a reality. But what about the here and now? Which current innovations truly enhance the guest experience—and which don’t?

In hotel rooms of the future, most surfaces will be equipped with interactive screens offering information or control over the environment (lighting, temperature, etc.). Image: Courtesy of The Institute of Global Futures

Several major hotel brands have taken a proactive stance when it comes to answering the latter question. That includes Marriott Intl. and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, which in recent months revealed plans to take two distinctly different paths for doing so. Marriott is experimenting with its latest tech concepts in a real-world setting—an existing hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina—while Four Seasons has created an in-house lab at its Toronto headquarters.

Hotel Spas
By 2060, hotel spas will offer DNA-based treatments designed to boost longevity. Image: Courtesy of The Institute of Global Futures


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