UK / Europe

Room of the future

Novotel has partnered with Microsoft to launch the hi-tech “hotel room of the future”.

Room 3120 at Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse, uses Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect technology to allow guests to control their hotel room using vocal commands and physical gestures. The room features a Kinect interface, Sensorit mirror based on Kinect technology, a fitness interface and a Surface multimedia table.

Targeted to both Novotel’s business customers and family clientele, Room 3120 was designed by the Naço architecture firm, and tastefully integrates technology in a contemporary layout that puts a priority on fluid lines.

Global chief marketing officer Grégoire Champetier said Novotel sought to “reinvent the hotel room experience” by melding superior design and technology.

“It’s crucial to take our customers’ changing habits and expectations into account. In particular, this means rethinking our rooms in digital terms,” he said.

At the room’s entrance, guests find a space designed as a ‘decompression chamber’ between the outside world and the spacious sensorial environment inside – interactive without being overwhelming. The balcony concept is replaced instead with a cocoon-like green capsule space. The room itself is divided into two main areas for entertainment and rest: the white space for adults, and the colourful kids’ space. The touch-screen Surface table in the kids’ room has various capabilities, including access to web browsing, interactive maps and board games. The adult space has a fold-up bed and, following modular design, the room is capable of being reformatted; furniture can be removed altogether. Although only part of the technology is visible, smart signage guides users to the solutions they desire

The genius behind the room’s concept is the Kinect technology which does not require prior training for use, but responds intuitively to voice and movement. For example, the Sensorit interactive mirror appears like a normal mirror, but will follow simple gestures to access and display multimedia including world news reports, local weather, or even an in-room fitness application.

Room 3120 at the Novotel Vaugirard Montparnasse is available for general reservations for a period of three months until February 14 2012. Designed to accommodate up to four guests (two adults and two children under 16), the room will be offered at €199 a night.

Reservations: www.novotel.com/room3120

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