Hotel Communication Network (HCN) is not the first-of-its kind player in the industry, but them emerging on the market is indicative of a trend: the hospitality industry is changing. Hotel owners are looking for more forms of revenue, aside bookings, while hotel guests are demanding more flexibility from in-room technologies.
Earlier this year we introduced you to ConnectedHotel TV by Swisscom, developed in partnership with LG, a service pretty similar to the Hotel Communication Network (HCN) in-room technology. ConnectedHotel TV delivers interactive high definition television, video-on-demand, web-based services, such as local weather forecasts, real-time flight information, news portals, stock exchange data, video sharing sites and much more. Hotel owners could use ConnectedHotel TV to promote their services on screen (special spa offers, restaurant menus, etc), for example, but also to save electricity, and lower their maintenance expenses.
The network gives guests direct interactive access to hotel services, enabling them to order room service, browse hotel restaurant menus and make reservations, talk with hotel staff, and arrange for other hotel services. In addition, guests can access information on dining, nightlife, shopping, cultural events and attractions. Hotel owners can affiliate with restaurants in the city for additional revenue streams. For instance, hotel guests can make a reservation or buy a ticket, right from the HCN system.
The possibilities are endless, and the challenge is for hotel owners to use the system in creative ways that benefit their business, and their customers at the same time. Currently, the HCN system has only been deployed, and tested, at the Hilton Chicago (1550 rooms since August 2010) and the InterContinental Hotel Chicago (800 rooms since January 2011). An impressive percentage of guests (65%) used the technology and an overwhelming majority of them (85 percent in an HCN/Hilton survey) said they would prefer to stay in a hotel room with it.