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Tomorrow's rooms

By Rebecca Lo | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-07 08:14

Tomorrow's rooms

Alan Sun, general manager of Service Technology Partners, introduces Tely, an interactive program that allows guests to liaise with concierge in real time.

Award-winning gadgets that allow hotel guests to be constantly logged on are all part of improving service standards. Rebecca Lo discovers a whole new side to room services.

Related: The gadgets

Today's travelers are more difficult to please than ever before. A lot of that comes from expectations. We assume we can remain connected to family and friends back home wherever we go. We get frustrated when WiFi is an extra charge on our hotel bill. We want to use our own devices so that we don't have to learn and relearn with every new hotel we stay in.

And we want connections that are fast and reliable, with hotel support that is knowledgeable and friendly if we run into any snags.

Hotel Icon, the teaching arm of Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Hotel and Tourism Management, recently launched an international competition, Tomorrow's Guest rooms, to solicit the best gadgets available specifically for hospitality usage.

The online competition ran from January to February on its website earlier this year, with 20 entries proceeding onto prototype stage for consideration.

Eight winners were determined by a committee of judges; chaired by Terence Ronson of Pertlink and coordinated by Dr Basak Denizci Guillet, professor at PolyU's SHTM. Students, professors and hoteliers all tested the products to help determine the winners.

"This was our first competition and the response from the industry was overwhelming," says Guillet.

Their products were then integrated into three guestrooms in Hotel Icon and can be booked through the school for anyone interested in staying in one of these rooms of the future. The award-winning products are available for use in the rooms until the end of this year.

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