Tech in Action: Marriott’s connected hotel room

The hotel chain partners with Samsung to explore how IoT could improve hospitality.
Marriott - IoT Room 1

Marriott is testing how the internet of things could improve and personalize a guest’s stay in one of its hotels.

Working with Samsung and electrical equipment and building company Legrand, Marriott has constructed a room that is fully stocked with the latest in connected devices. That includes smart lightbulbs, mirrors, wall projections and televisions. All of that can be controlled by a voice-powered virtual assistant like Samsung’s Bixby or an app, which can also be used to schedule hotel services like housekeeping or room service.

The room is not located in any of Marriott’s hotels. It’s in the basement of its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland, where it also houses its internal innovation lab.

The IoT Guestroom Lab, as it is being called, will be tested over the next three months. Marriott, Samsung and Legrand will analyze data from the tests to improve on what it has so far with a plan to begin implementing some of the technology within the next five years.

While the room has a full suite of Samsung and Legrand’s connected devices, the plan is not to have every hotel room feature the exact same devices.

The big promise, according to Marriott, is not in offering all the shiniest new toys for its visitors, but using the data and preferences those devices collects to personalize and improve its visitors’ stay, and to have those preferences applied when they return to a hotel or visit a new one in a different city.

So, a hotel room could remember a visitor’s preferred wake-up time and turn on lights, or automatically heat the water in the shower to their preferred temperature.

“We know that our guests expect to personalize almost everything in their lives, and their hotel experience should be no different,” said Stephanie Linnartz, global chief commercial officer at Marriott International. “By teaming with best-in-class partners, we are leveraging mobile and voice-enabled technology to give our guests the ability to set up the room to best meets their needs – whether that is creating the ultimate relaxation environment or one that enables productivity for business travelers.”