Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Smart Hotel Rooms in New York City

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the it-knows-I-like-to-sleep-in-a-bed dept.

Technology 131

hc1379 writes "Back in the 90's, Mark Weiser a Xerox PARC scientist envisioned future computing will weave themselves into the background of our everyday life. People will use computing as natural as they use writing instruments. He called it ubiquitous computing (aka pervasive computing). UbiComp was a good research idea, but did not really find its way into the commercial market, at least not in the life time of Mark Weiser, who died in 1999. One of Harry's blog reports that the Mandarin Oriental in Manhattan has smart hotel rooms that can keep track of guests' preferences and change the room conditions automatically (e.g., adjusting room temperature and lighting conditions based on the guest's preference, and alerting maids when the minibar is running low on soda)."

cancel ×

131 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Computers are great (5, Funny)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049217)

I try a lot to build computers into whatever I can. Making technology useful for anything and everything, thus simplifying life, is really what technology is all about.

Instead of just making a toaster, why not make a toaster that learns how different people like their toast?

Or, instead of making a set of speakers, why not make a set of speakers that can automatically adjust to prevent distortion, no matter the volume level?

Re:Computers are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049275)

Instead of just making a toaster, why not make a toaster that learns how different people like their toast?

You mean like the one from Red Dwarf?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Dwarf_characters# Talkie_Toaster [wikipedia.org]
You are an evil person;-)

Re:Computers are great (4, Insightful)

gkuz (706134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049320)

Instead of just making a toaster, why not make a toaster that learns how different people like their toast?

My toaster has a dial on the front, that adjusts from "lighter" to "darker". It's actually very easy to use, and I don't have to log in before toasting my bagel. It's really pretty well "simplified" already. How much simpler do you propose to make it?

Re:Computers are great (2, Funny)

aktzin (882293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049448)

Right on. Technology shouldn't be complicated just because it can be. To illustrate this point let's turn to the classic story recounted in a previous /. story:

http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=15874 7&cid=13299054 [slashdot.org]

Re:Computers are great (1)

njchick (611256) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049459)

A smart toaster should recognize you by biometrics and use the settings you used last time you were using the toaster. If the toaster doesn't know you, it should refuse to toast until you set it up.

That would be even more useful with showers. Different people prefer different water temperature.

Re:Computers are great (4, Insightful)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049570)

Let me know when the toaster is smart enough to know how I want the toast this time instead of how I had it last time.

Turning a dial is lot simpler than trying to outwit some appliance that thinks it knows what I want.

Re:Computers are great (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049633)

My friend possesed a toaster that would refuse to toast again if you stuck the toast back after it popped up. You had to turn the dial to a darking setting and then push it down. Apparently it must have sensed a temperature or something instead of just a simple timer...complete pain in the ass.

Re:Computers are great (1)

typidemon (729497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049913)

It doesn't mean that the simple phyiscal instruments are removed from the toaster, you can have both.

Besides, what kind of freak changes the way he likes toasting normal every day bread? a smart toaster would understand what kind of bread is being put in it, and what your preferences are for it.

Re:Computers are great (2, Insightful)

mmontour (2208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049641)

Your "smart" toaster sounds like something that Microsoft would come up with. I'd rather have the talking one from Red Dwarf.

"refuse to toast until you set it up"? Why not just fall back to the traditional manual control? If I want "smart" mode, I'll push a button for it.

As for remembering the setting I used last time, that's no good unless it also knows that I'm toasting the same kind of bread as last time. It doesn't allow for the possibility that I might want my toast darker than I did yesterday. Do I have to create a new account for that? Can I even can do that, given that it's using biometrics?

If you're adding electronics to a toaster, give it something that improves the fundamental process. Measure the change in surface reflectivity to detect done-ness, instead of just a time or temperature control. Control humidity by turning on a small fan. Apply different amounts of heat to the top and bottom surfaces of a bagel. Detect when the crumb tray is about to catch on fire and shut off the power. Etc.

Re:Computers are great (1)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049756)

...and use the settings you used last time you were using the toaster...
That would be even more useful with showers...

This brings up an important safety tip; never use a toaster in the shower.

But I think the real answer is voice recognition.
That way you can tell the toaster to make it dark or light or "do the best you can in 45 seconds, I'm late for work".
Same thing with the shower; hotter, cooler, less water, more water, off while I lather my hair, back on to rinse, etc...

Or as a great fictional character was known to say to an equally fictional computer: "Tea. Earl Gray. Hot."

Re:Computers are great (3, Interesting)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050880)

Our shower is computer controlled with user profiles, it's a pain in the ass. Yes, it has shower, rain shower, steam generator, body jets and foot massager features (Sometimes all at once) but all I want is a bloody shower.

The profiles are useful for getting a starting point (Such as turning off the bits I don't want), but from there on it's manual control.

On the plus side, the computer control keeps the water pressure and temperature constant at whatever you set it to (On a nice LCD, so you can see the temperature) even when people flush the toilet. *That's* what computer control should be for, none of this profile nonsense.

Re:Computers are great (2, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049578)

This [ubergeek.tv] much simpler!

Re:Computers are great (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049684)

The toaster as all electrical equipment should report to the computer whenever it is using electricity. Everything in the house that cause flow of any kind(water, gas or electricity) should report when ever they have need of any of those. The computer should know if there is any flow and determine if there is any problem with that flow. Every room in the house should have a speaker and a microphone which the computer could keep in contact with everyone in the house. The computer should know when the resident leave the house and therefore know if a noise in the house is a problem. Everyone in the house should have a wrist watch/pulse detector and thus the computer should be able to determine if anyone has a medical problem. Windows should be double paned with a motorized venetian blinds in the center. The computer would determined by the need of the house for heat whether or not to open them.

Re:Computers are great (1)

typidemon (729497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049774)

You don't need to use the dial, it already knows what you prefer.

Re:Computers are great (1)

Celsius 233 (913263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049932)

Eliminate the 'medium' and 'dark' toast options, which turn your toast into a smoldering mass of pure carbon which no one in their right mind would even think of eating.

Re:Computers are great (1)

zenslug (542549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049990)

Hey, buddy, it's called sarcasm.

(This post was automatically submitted by a Roomba)

Re:Computers are great (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049993)

Duuuude that SO much hard work! I want my toaster to tell me THIS as I walk into the kitchen first thing in the morning: "Good morning Jim. I just finished walking the dog, and based on your average eating habits I started your toast about 45 seconds ago." That is of course after my coffee maker tells me: "Your cup of coffee is ready and waiting for you at your desk. You are still spilling drops "on route" to your desk so your cup is waiting for you already." I like the idea of UbiComp - think "The Jetsons", man!

Re:Computers are great (1)

DeafByBeheading (881815) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050193)

You don't have to log in? Dude, that's leaving your toaster wide open to a local root exploit.

Re:Computers are great (2, Insightful)

Elvis Impersonator (863474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049580)

Simple example of technology gone awry: Your phone: You are talking on the phone and someone else calls. It interrupts your conversation with beeping. You interrupt the person you are talking to in order to look at caller ID to see who is talking. You click over to tell them you are talking on the phone and will call them back. End result - ball's in your court. My phone: Automated response system known as busy signal. Ball is firmly in caller's court.

Great but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049789)

Will it order up an "extra pillow" too?

Re:Computers are great (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050079)

Making technology useful for anything and everything, thus simplifying life, is really what technology is all about.

Sorry, but that's not what technology is all about. That's what geeks want it to be about, but what it's really about is making money, often by convincing otherwise intelligent people that they need more gadgetry to make toast or turn their lights on and off.

Truly useful ubiquitous computing might someday throttle our credit cards instead of our thermostats, or warn us not to buy things we can't afford, or remind us not to eat crap that's going to clog our arteries. We've already got plenty of remote control. What we need now is technology that helps us improve our self control.

Re:Computers are great (5, Funny)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050105)

Source: http://philip.greenspun.com/humor/eecs-difference- explained [greenspun.com]

Once upon a time, in a kingdom not far from here, a king summoned two of his advisors for a test. He showed them both a shiny metal box with two slots in the top, a control knob, and a lever. &ldquolWhat do you think this is?”

One advisor, an engineer, answered first. “It is a toaster,” he said. The king asked, “How would you design an embedded computer for it?” The engineer replied, “Using a four-bit microcontroller, I would write a simple program that reads the darkness knob and quantizes its position to one of 16 shades of darkness, from snow white to coal black. The program would use that darkness level as the index to a 16-element table of initial timer values. Then it would turn on the heating elements and start the timer with the initial value selected from the table. At the end of the time delay, it would turn off the heat and pop up the toast. Come back next week, and I'll show you a working prototype.”

The second advisor, a computer scientist, immediately recognized the danger of such short-sighted thinking. He said, “Toasters don't just turn bread into toast, they are also used to warm frozen waffles. What you see before you is really a breakfast food cooker. As the subjects of your kingdom become more sophisticated, they will demand more capabilities. They will need a breakfast food cooker that can also cook sausage, fry bacon, and make scrambled eggs. A toaster that only makes toast will soon be obsolete. If we don't look to the future, we will have to completely redesign the toaster in just a few years.”

“With this in mind, we can formulate a more intelligent solution to the problem. First, create a class of breakfast foods. Specialize this class into subclasses: grains, pork, and poultry. The specialization process should be repeated with grains divided into toast, muffins, pancakes, and waffles; pork divided into sausage, links, and bacon; and poultry divided into scrambled eggs, hard- boiled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, and various omelet classes.”

“The ham and cheese omelet class is worth special attention because it must inherit characteristics from the pork, dairy, and poultry classes. Thus, we see that the problem cannot be properly solved without multiple inheritance. At run time, the program must create the proper object and send a message to the object that says, 'Cook yourself.' The semantics of this message depend, of course, on the kind of object, so they have a different meaning to a piece of toast than to scrambled eggs.”

“Reviewing the process so far, we see that the analysis phase has revealed that the primary requirement is to cook any kind of breakfast food. In the design phase, we have discovered some derived requirements. Specifically, we need an object-oriented language with multiple inheritance. Of course, users don't want the eggs to get cold while the bacon is frying, so concurrent processing is required, too.”

“We must not forget the user interface. The lever that lowers the food lacks versatility, and the darkness knob is confusing. Users won't buy the product unless it has a user-friendly, graphical interface. When the breakfast cooker is plugged in, users should see a cowboy boot on the screen. Users click on it, and the message ‘Booting UNIX v.8.3’ appears on the screen. (UNIX 8.3 should be out by the time the product gets to the market.) Users can pull down a menu and click on the foods they want to cook.”

“Having made the wise decision of specifying the software first in the design phase, all that remains is to pick an adequate hardware platform for the implementation phase. An Intel 80386 with 8MB of memory, a 30MB hard disk, and a VGA monitor should be sufficient. If you select a multitasking, object oriented language that supports multiple inheritance and has a built-in GUI, writing the program will be a snap. (Imagine the difficulty we would have had if we had foolishly allowed a hardware-first design strategy to lock us into a four-bit microcontroller!).”

The king wisely had the computer scientist beheaded, and they all lived happily ever after.

Re: computerized toilets are the future (1)

FlippyTheSkillsaw (533983) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050209)

I'm not talking about those futuristic IR sensors they build into toilets these days, but one that could open the door to the future.

With regard to your comment about speakers... (1)

Elbowgeek (633324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050354)

When it comes to audio, the best way to prevent distortion is to get rid of any computerised anything in the signal chain; keep it pure analog all the way, with as few wires in the signal chain as possible, with good quality, well matched components and listen at levels which represent that which you would expect to hear in a particular venue. Also, the laws of physics will render the computerised speaker concept a non-starter unfortunately. Cheers

great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049223)

Now if they can only open the windows for me.

Re:great (3, Funny)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049384)

Plenty of OTHER systems open Windows for you, I don't think we need another. *ducks*

Sounds a lot like (1, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049224)

living on the Enterprise-D.

Heh heh heh... (5, Funny)

lewp (95638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049227)

Oh, the minibar was never in danger of running low on soda...

Re:Heh heh heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049352)

That's exactly what I was thinking. Or maybe it only alerts the maid if the minibar is low on soda because otherwise all the people in these smart hotel rooms would be insane and belligerent.

Minibar stuff (1)

lastberserker (465707) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049385)

Oh, the minibar was never in danger of running low on soda...
Naturally. At up to $5 per bottle of pop and upper $XX per bottle of buzz one can make a really smart minibar that would promptly reorder and refill itself when it runs low on stuff... which is never.

Re:Minibar stuff (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049588)

Ever send employees to travel on business, had them stay at a luxury hotel? Bringing in your own soda/booze is very declasse, and bad, bad form to be seen doing it at a good hotel.

Believe me, those minibars need replenishing very often.

Re:Heh heh heh... (1)

deltalimasierralima (922001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049572)

If I have to sit in front of some crappy UI and key in all sorts of different preferences of mine before checking in, its not something I would call "smart" anyway

Re:Heh heh heh... (1)

Rodness (168429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049872)

Five or six months ago I was on business travel and stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. When I went to check out, there were several charges from the minibar that I did *not* drink.

It turned out that the "smart" minibar recorded a purchase when I took an item out (it was some crazy $10/bottle Norwegian spring water or something, which I decided wasn't worth it) and didn't realize that I had put it back without drinking it.

The desk employee apologized profusely and credited my account, explaining that this happened all the time and that they'd been outwitted by the technology. So, instead of simply having the maid count the items in the minibar, they spent heaven only knows how much money on this "smart" minibar system and managed to irritate any guest who had the misfortune of opening the fridge and balking at the prices.

Sometimes adding technology to simple things makes it better, and sometimes it makes it worse.

Jane, stop this crazy thing! (4, Interesting)

Senes (928228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049232)

Would be amusing to see what one good hacker or software glitch could do with a room like that. As if being able to scan people's important info out of a key card wasn't enough.

Re:Jane, stop this crazy thing! (1)

segment (695309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049319)

You should have also taken the time to mention that rich bastid bringing his mistresses to these hotels only to one day bring his wife... "See honey just how you like it..." Seriously though, In a way its a nice idea but too much gadgetry and technology is started to churn out more couch potatoes than thinkers in my opinion. To think this time last year I was explaining a conceptual tcp based attack to a freaking compsec PhD who couldn't understand basic network analysis (not kidding either)... Amazing.

My preferences, eh? (4, Funny)

imboboage0 (876812) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049238)

When they figure out that I would prefer not to pay and adjust accordingly, then we're talkin.

I can just hear it now (3, Funny)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049242)

"This is Seth from the Mandarin front desk. The following DVDs have been automatically charged to your account: Drunken Hussies, Backdoor Patrol, and Mona Lisa Smile. Thank you."

Re:I can just hear it now (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049343)

That's not pervasive computer. That's perversive computing.

Anonymous movies (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049377)

I remember in a hotel (belgium i think) looking at the card with the in-room movie choices. It came with an assurance that your movie choices would not be visible to the staff at the front desk or on your bill, yet hollywood films were 5 euro and porn was 6.

Re:Anonymous movies (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049476)

Well the obvious solution is to buy 6 films.

Re: Anonymous Movies (1)

Zevon 2000 (593515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049845)

>hollywood films were 5 euro and porn was 6.
>>Well the obvious solution is to buy 6 films.
I think you mean that the obvious solution is to buy five films?

Re:Anonymous movies (3, Interesting)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049489)

The Westin that I worked at in University, used Lucky #7 as the porn code...btw North American customers usually watched for 15 min.....Asian business men....left the movies on all day

Re:I can just hear it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049458)

i work for koolconnect, the company that created the video system in this exact hotel. it was the very first high definition in-room VOD system in the world, and in many ways still is. the messaging system on the tv? that's us too.

we don't have drunken hussies, backdoor patrol, or mona lisa smile on the playlist. we do have an assortment of high-definition porn for your enjoyment, however. but don't worry, the titles are priced the same as the studio movies and don't show up on your bill. buy all the porn you want!

the hotel's fantastic, as are all the mandarin properties.

Re:I can just hear it now (2, Funny)

multiplexo (27356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049798)

"This is Seth from the Mandarin front desk. The following DVDs have been automatically charged to your account: Drunken Hussies, Backdoor Patrol, and Mona Lisa Smile. Thank you."

Hey! I didn't rent Mona Lisa Smile. It was Mona Lisa's Pearl Necklace.

Re:I can just hear it now (1)

freakmn (712872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050062)

I believe that the movie list was a reference to the movie Dodgeball. Oh look, I'm right [imdb.com] .

This is Seth from Videorama. The following DVDs are now overdue: "Drunken Hussies 3", "Backdoor Patrol 5" and "Mona Lisa Smile". Thank you.

Re:I can just hear it now (1)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050297)

Is there a "Watch AC" option?

This long (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049245)

It really took that long to develop this and implement it commercially? Some things seem so slow to markey it's unbelievable.

Re:This long (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049256)

Ok, I'm a nob, I meant to say

Some things seem so slow to making it to market it's unbelievable.

I have no idea where those extra words came from, and others disappeared to. Further to this, isn't this a simple database setup, post data as the client arrives and then next time query those values. I could write that in about 2 minutes. Maybe a minute to design the table ;)

I've seen various things like this done (4, Interesting)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049363)

I had a hotel in italy where the room lights were activated by your room key. This allowed them to know exactly when you left your room. One day we took a nap in the middle of the day, wandered round the town for an hour or so and returned to find that the bed had been remade.

The offered otherwise excellent service (Hotel Panorama, Venice btw) but using technology for a few extra touches makes all the difference.

The Mirage in las vegas had a minibar that was monitored by computer in my suite. I'm not sure if they'd have come and restocked it, but it stops you replacing that $4 bottle of aquafina you took with an inferior quality one from safeway.

My point is that these smart features wont make a craptastic hotel better, but they can make a nice one nicer.

Re:I've seen various things like this done (1)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049555)

The Mirage in las vegas had a minibar that was monitored by computer in my suite. I'm not sure if they'd have come and restocked it, but it stops you replacing that $4 bottle of aquafina you took with an inferior quality one from safeway.

You don't need a computer for that. The hotel I stayed at, actually sealed the tops of the drinks bottles/cans with some gold shrinkwrap plastic. I guess that way, they would know whether the minibar had been opened and nothing/something taken out.

wish there was more detail (2, Interesting)

lashi (822466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049250)

I would love to know what products the hotel is using. I would like to automate my home.

Re:wish there was more detail (1)

Barkley44 (919010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049270)

hehe... X10 (www.x10.com) - whatever happened to that mass marketting company, every site had their popups.

Re:wish there was more detail (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050052)

i think they flopped and someone bought the remains and started a new strategy that didn't include pissing people off long before they have a chance to be interested

Re:wish there was more detail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049630)

For the restocking of your minibar/fridge : Just get married.

And here I am, wondering why I don't have a girlfriend/wife...

Then again, this is Slashdot so I am not alone. :D

Correct grammar, maybe? (1, Troll)

gkuz (706134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049280)

How about if a respect for grammar were to "weave themselves into the fabric of our everyday life?"

Re:Correct grammar, maybe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049926)

Shouldn't that be: 'How about if a respect for grammar were to "weave [itself] into the fabric of our everyday life?"'?

If you are going to be a grammar nazi, then at least make sure that your criticism is in order.

Smart hotel (5, Interesting)

aktzin (882293) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049305)

A good example of advanced computer intelligence in a hotel (not just the rooms) is in the detective/science fiction novel "Altered Carbon" by Richard K. Morgan:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-fo rm/102-8961702-9548145 [amazon.com]

It's set mostly in San Francisco in the 25th century, and there's a "Hendrix hotel" that's actually controlled by a self-aware AI inspired by its famous namesake. There's a very violent scene where some thugs attempt to commit a crime in the lobby. Let's just say the hotel had really good security.

small hotel rooms (0, Offtopic)

YuriGherkin (870386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049340)

When I glanced at this, I swear it said "Small Hotel Rooms in New York City" and I thought, "Well, that's probably because the real estate is so expensive." Do'h!

Re:small hotel rooms (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050137)

Off topic nothing. I read the same thing about 5 times over.

Not Cheap (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049342)

Check out the room rates:
http://www.mandarinoriental.com/hotel/532000009.as p [mandarinoriental.com]

Re:Not Cheap (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049597)

For those prices you could get an ordinary hotel room and rent some services that gadgets can't match (at least not yet)

PervComp (1, Funny)

elinden (155827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049353)

...He called it ubiquitous computing (aka pervasive computing). UbiComp was a good research idea...
if ubiquitous computing = UbiComp, i guess it's best they didn't choose to primarily use the term Pervasive Computing instead... might have attracted a completely different audience.

mini bar... so thats new ? (3, Informative)

fizze (610734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049383)

I spent a few days in a hotel in London, around march. The mini-bar in the room was RFID-equipped and would automatically charge your account if an item was removed.
So I guess thats not really new, then.

Re:mini bar... so thats new ? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050749)

If I had known that, my entire stay would have been spent trying to drink the contents without removing the containers from the mini-bar !

I wonder how they would prove liability against you ?
What if you removed a bottle, read the label then put it back ? How would the system know ? I would imagine that a real person had to verify the charges before billing you.

Tell you what... (1, Funny)

Patchw0rk F0g (663145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049386)

...up my expense account, make it concrete, and then I'll read the fucking article. Otherwise, we mouse-drivers over here ain't holding our breath.

The world revolves around you (3, Insightful)

Nerdposeur (910128) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049387)

This kind of stuff makes me a little uneasy. On a practical level, the more complicated something is, the more ways it can mess up. Think about how often you have to fix your computer versus your refrigerator.

It also makes me think about how we can use products and gadgets to define ourselves. Your room will "match your lifestyle," it says. How much thought do we really need to perfecting our environments and making everything around us customized for our tastes? Everything from the color of your iPod to the way you drink your coffee is supposed to express your personality, and the world is supposed to be exactly the way you like it.

I mean, this is neat in theory, but you're going to pay a lot for the service, I'm sure. (I don't know which rooms have it, but the first reservations their site showed me were between $600 and $700 a night.) The question is, are you paying for the convenience, or how important it makes you feel?

Re:The world revolves around you (2, Interesting)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049407)

As a brief reply, I don't think that the repair argument holds. How often do you repair your clock radio, how often do you repair your television? Not really that often. Just because it is electronic doesn't mean it will break. This is especially true when people aren't allowed to tinker with the software of the device. If the software behind these devices is handled well, I don't think you will have to worry about reinstalling the OS on your thermostat.

Re:The world revolves around you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049560)

Actually, it depends (for me, at least). I have a rather old (early 80s) tv which I've repaired 3 times (mostly dried caps, heat problems (the cat likes to sleep on it :)) - the case is spacious, the components well laid out, no ic's, no ubiquitous computer wanabee parts, so repair is pretty easy. Modern devices which do try to be smart, though... forget it, unless you're a fully qualified repairman with too much time on your hands. Ditto "smart" thermometers, etc. Nice when they work, pita when they fail. Like the guy said, more complication => harder to repair. ime, ymmv.

Re:The world revolves around you (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049648)

You're paying to not have to be bothered with calling the front desk. The idea is that everything is at your fingertips, without you having to take action.

Believe me, if you're in NY, and not by choice, it's VERY nice having a few hours where you don't have to interact with anyone at any level.

Plus, this won't affect the room rates much, since it makes service more efficient -- reducing personnel costs.

There's nothing the tech in this room offers that isn't already done by humans at fine hotels (repeat customer at $HOTEL_CHAIN? They'll remember your preferences*). The only difference is, it's automated... automation is making headway in the service industry, since people have become more accustomed to it.

*As an example, by wife and I stay at Embassy Suites a lot... when the reservation is in her name, the thermostat is always at 75F when we check in. She did not ask for this -- I assume they noticed a pattern, and added it to her profile. In contrast, when the reservation is in my name, it's at 68F.

Re:The world revolves around you (1)

Vskye (9079) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049655)

This kind of stuff makes me a little uneasy. On a practical level, the more complicated something is, the more ways it can mess up. Think about how often you have to fix your computer versus your refrigerator.

Funny story. About 2 months ago my oldest son opens up the refrigerator and all of a sudden I hear a big "crash". I walk into the kitchen with a "WTF" look on my face, since I'm looking at our frig door on the floor. ha! The computers are running fine, but the damn frig crashed. ;)

Re:The world revolves around you (1)

nsayer (86181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050165)

Think about how often you have to fix your computer versus your refrigerator.

I have a PowerMac, so for me it's a tie.

Nice if *I* had the information (3, Interesting)

Filthysock (557067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049388)

Like a 'hotel prefs' wireless usb key ring that worked across all the hotel chains, the room would read and write to it while I were there and but wouldn't store it.

Re:Nice if *I* had the information (2, Interesting)

Gondola (189182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049505)

That's exactly what I envisioned when I first thought about it.

It would be very easy to have a tiny filesystem readable via Bluetooth or whatever, with something like

HOTEL_PREFS.CFG
TV_PREFS.CFG
DESKTOP_PREFS.CFG
LAPTOP_PREFS.CFG
BEVERAGE_PREFS.CFG
DINNER_PREFS.CFG
MEDICALERT.CFG
PUBLIC_KEY.CFG

Imagine your waiter coming up to you at a restaurant you've never been to and saying, "Welcome sir and madame. Your usual?"

Imagine they don't have to ask if you want sour cream or butter or cheese, or how you want your steak done, or if you want lemon in your tea. It's all recorded on their belt PC along with your order. With just a few strokes of a pen or voice recognition, the chefs in the restaurant see an order pop up on the screen, without the waiter having to return to the kitchen. Their belt PC tells them when the food is ready.

You approach a guest desktop PC in your hotel room and it automatically sets your preferred resolution, color scheme, and most commonly used apps, along with the latest news in the categories you prefer. With no effort involved.

Your television automatically displays a welcome message and displays upcoming shows that fit your viewing preferences, or suggests movies you can order.

Just the tip of the iceberg, really. Once computing and networking is truly ubiquitous, our lives really will change.

Re:Nice if *I* had the information (1)

corrosive_nf (744601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049807)

Then you would have the tinfoil hat crew freaking out. "OMG BUSHITLERHALIBURTON is spying on me!!!"

Re:Nice if *I* had the information (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050058)

simple solution.... leave it blank?

Re:Nice if *I* had the information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14050289)

Not at all. If carrying a readable/scannable doohickey is optional, there's nothing to worry about. Just don't carry one.

Paranoid about the man tracking your credit card activity? Don't use one, nobody's required to have one. I don't think I've ever walked into a store that didn't take cash.

Compare with Radio Shack's old procedure of taking your name & address when you shopped there. You want to buy from them? You had* to surrender some personal info, luckily it was just them and select businesses that would do such and not some industrywide requirement.

* I don't recall them doing that in recent ... and even when they did in the past, I'd refuse, later noticing someone else's name on my receipt.

Using words good on /. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049431)

Back when I reading the post, I envisioned future editors will weave himself into the posts at /. by making them grammar correct. People will read the articles here as natural as they read a book or a newspaper. I call it "Written English," but it does not often find its way into /. Probably one of someone's blog complains about this problem, too. In the future, maybe they will predict reader's preferences and use 8 seconds make proper sentences (eg. stop downing all the bourbon in the minibar and make a decent post).

what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049439)

its like that simpsons where homer's house turns into pierce brosnan.
which was like 2001 a space odesey
which was the original

These rooms may be smart... (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049445)

But we must know what they receive on a typical IQ test!

Smart hotel rooms eh? (0)

deathwombat (848460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049457)

I guess that means Paris Hilton can't use them...

why hotels? (2, Insightful)

drewxhawaii (922388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049475)

it seems this type of technology is better suited for homes.

the vast majority of people are not repeat visitors to the same hotel...

Re:why hotels? (2, Interesting)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049668)

"the vast majority of people are not repeat visitors to the same hotel..."

No, but the vast number of frequent travelers are. Business travelers, jetsetters, etc... Not only that but for people who rarely travel to the same destination a lot still tend to stay at a particular chain. Incentive programs have made a big difference with this.

Even those of us who only stay at hotels 5x a year tend to stay in the same ones, if we go to the same city every year. Find one you like, stick to it.

Stayed in one in Philly Two years ago (5, Interesting)

puto (533470) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049478)

I stayed one in Rittenhouse in Philly, well almost three years ago.

They had a console by the bed where you could control lights, tv, temp etc.

The best featue is you could set the temp of the shower and it would turn itself on when it got to the promper temp it would notify you.

It also had movies on demand. So my girlfriend and I decided to watch a video on demand. The movie Barcelona. She had never seen it. I told her about it. I got in the shower after the movie started, or was supposed to start.

I come out of the shower and she is seated on the bed with a funny look. And this is a girl who spent ten years working in Turkey and various other countries. Unshakeable.

The automated system had decided to lock on some weird shemale porn flick that was in a loop.

She figured it was glitched, and it wasn't me.

True story...

I thought the automated room would be romantic.

The next day they fixed it and gave us a free night.

True story. Nothing like shem porn to be a mood killer.

Puto

Re:Stayed in one in Philly Two years ago (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049542)

Look on the bright side: at least it wasn't goatse!

Editors Wanted (2, Funny)

stevens (84346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049531)

Let's get our /. submission ready:

  • Lots of buzzwords. Check
  • Tenuous tie-in to famous geek. Check
  • Link to my own blog to try and make some AdSense money. Check
  • Speaking of my own blog in the 3rd person to sound like a disinterested party. Check

Now you too can pass yourself off as Roland Piquepaille!

Re:Editors Wanted (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049679)

  • Someone that doesn't pay a dime for the content on the site but still complaints, even though he could as well have skipped the article in question. Check

Re:Editors Wanted (1)

stevens (84346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049735)

Someone that doesn't pay a dime for the content on the site but still complaints, even though he could as well have skipped the article in question. Check.

My eyeballs are counted in the numbers that OSDN uses to court advertiser dollars. I paid, whether I have a '*' next to my name or not.

And I bitch because I love. :-) Seriously, though, the slashvertisements that are interesting don't bother me. But this was poorly written, and boring as hell. A bar fridge with a sensor? Oh dear me, what will they think of next? Sheesh.

Re:Editors Wanted (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049808)

I have to be honest and say that the idea, or the implementation itself, didn't look too spiffy to me either, but I do think that pervasive computing has to start -somewhere- (even if that idea/implementation is simple, or perceived as simple).

I just think that when people complaint about how an article/post might be a slashvertisement, they forget that the real information-gathering lies within the comments-section (such as, but not limited to, this post [slashdot.org]

Building Automation Systems (1)

dubbayu_d_40 (622643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049540)

Enterprise integration with Building Automation Systems is a hot topic. All your major IT integrators are exploring this while the BAS community is actively working on web services standards. Google oBIX and BACnet Web Services. The process control industry also has OPC which is often used in buildings too; OPC is working on their web services spec called Unified Architecture.

Check out Xerox's misdeeds and mischief (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049552)

What about RFID? (2, Insightful)

Justabit (651314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049637)

I would have thought that every big hotel in the world would have tagged everything by now. Security dude radios main desk " We'eve got Mrs Jenkins from 337 mooving into lobby with 2 towels and a lamp in her bag."...

Ob Grammar fascist remark (1)

danharan (714822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049676)

People will use computing as natural as they use writing instruments.
And they still won't have or use a grammar checker. Progress!

Re:Ob Grammar fascist remark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14050126)

Or even READ what been written, it one thing to submit you mistakes as a final product, but its' another for some one to read it, go sure that okays, and send i tout.

I stayed there, and had to patch it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14049803)

I actually stayed at the Mandarin Oriental a week or two after it opened - gf got the room free after a work event.

We could not turn of the silly LCD monitor that was showing nature scenes. No off, nothing on the remote, can't unplug it because all the wiring is behing the entertainment center. Made the room to bright to sleep in.

Finally had to resort to throwing a towel over it.

Cisco Video about the Technology (1)

molotovcD (626566) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049937)

http://slashdot.org/articles/05/11/17/0027255.shtm l?tid=126&tid=99 [slashdot.org]

It's a great video about the technology. They talk about the advtantages and interview Cisco employees and the hotel employees. Check it out.

More naturally than writing implements? (1)

archnerd (450052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14049983)

I'm having trouble remembering the last time I wrote anything longhand.

RFID for Prostitutes (4, Funny)

loserface (925015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050362)

It would be a lot cooler if it could match the room settings to which hooker you have with you that night.

Philip K. Dick - Ubiq (3, Insightful)

gnetwerker (526997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14050445)

Mark was a friend and is missed. One of his favorite books on the subject was P.K. Dick's Ubiq [amazon.com] . Hence the name of the site. Check it out. -- gnet
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?