"The hotel guestroom of the future" was showcased at this year's HITEC (Hospitality International Technology Exposition & Conference), an exposition that reveals the latest hi-tech hotel trends.
What might it mean for business travelers? Here's what I think: It will mean gadgetry overkill. From what I've seen, read, and heard, the balance between hotel guestroom comfort and hotel room technology is tilting in favor of technology.
Convenience isn't convenience when I am overwhelmed not just with annoying gadgets, but with technology so new that I have to stop and figure out how to use it. Then there is the issue of space — some of the new hi-tech items, like big-screen TVs, take up far more space than did the traditional TV. Too much of a good thing merely intrudes on my personal spaces and presents me with perhaps more technology than I'll have time to use in any but an extended stay.
I'm not sure how many business travelers are going to be charmed by high-definition artwork that changes to match a guest's mood.
And will I really have time to learn how to use a "self-cleaning" shower?
Hotel chains ought not to overlook the basics: a clean, quiet room; spacious work desk with a good chair, convenient power plugs and Internet connection; and a comfortable bed. Give me those things, and you can keep the gadgets — and, oh by the way, you can lower my room rate, too.