December 07, 2017
Starting next year, guests at Hilton Worldwide's U.S. properties will be able to use their smartphones to control their hotel rooms through Hilton's new "Connected Room" concept.

Currently in beta testing, Connected Room is live in just one hotel - Hilton has not specified which one - but will deploy to several more in the coming weeks before scaling rapidly across the United States in 2018.

"Innovation has been in Hilton's DNA since entrepreneur Conrad Hilton purchased the first Hilton property and pioneered the hospitality industry nearly 100 years ago," said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton. "Many innovations later, we are once again setting a new standard for the industry by giving our guests a travel experience where the room knows them, and they know their room."

Guests who stay in Connected Room-enabled properties will control their rooms using the Hilton Honors app. Among the aspects of their room that they'll be able to manage from their phone will be the temperature, the lighting, the television, and the window coverings.

Guests also will be able to personalize their room with the technology. Initially, that means loading the most popular streaming media and other accounts to in-room TVs. Eventually, however, it also will mean uploading their own artwork and photos to automatically display in their rooms. Voice commands also will be enabled at a later date.

"At Hilton, almost all digital products are born out of necessity and shortcomings in the marketplace - and Connected Room is no exception," said Joshua Sloser, senior vice president of digital product for the company. "The technology we put in hotel rooms has to be intuitive, simple and quick to pick up, because guests typically spend a limited amount of time in their rooms and we want them to spend that time enjoying the experience instead of adapting to new technology."

Connected Room is just the latest innovation to grace Hilton's Hilton Honors app. In 2015, the hotelier introduced its Digital Key technology, which allows guests to check in and unlock their guest room from within the app. To date, Hilton has logged 34 million digital check-ins, 4 million room key downloads, and more than 18.7 million opened doors.