x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Novotel test room a virtual wonderland

The Life: The hotel room of the future, a high-tech room with an ultra-modern design, has just been trialled in a Novotel property in Paris.

A futuristic room being trialled in a Novotel hotel in Paris. Photo Philippe Wang / Accor
A futuristic room being trialled in a Novotel hotel in Paris. Photo Philippe Wang / Accor

Imagine staying in a high-tech hotel room that looks like the latest incarnation of the Starship Enterprise and where you can order room service via a tablet computer, and play interactive videogames using motion-sensor technology on a giant screen.

Novotel and Microsoft teamed up to create such a space and recently finished trialling a futuristic room installed in a Novotel hotel in Paris.

The companies set out to dream up the "room of the future" by focusing on a completely innovative design and access to interactive videogaming through Microsoft's Kinect technology. Novotel encouraged guests to use the room - for €199 (Dh956) a night - and gathered feedback from them about design elements. That information is going to influence the design of Novotel's hotels.

"Incorporating Microsoft was part of the innovation, since we live more and more in a digital world," says Christophe Landais, the managing director of Accor Middle East, the regional division of the company that owns Novotel.

The room is minimalist in furnishings. Even the bed folds up against the wall to allow more space for playing on the Kinect.

The terrace includes a glass capsule in which the guest can sit and play on the Xbox 360, which is designed to make him or her feel as if "flying a spaceship", Novotel says.

The technology in the room includes an interactive tabletop on which guests can play games. It also has the latest Windows-software phones as well as a tablet device for communicating with room service.

But it gets geekier. The room is known as "3120" because if those numbers are turned on their side the 3 and the 1 look like an M and I - the first two letters of Microsoft - while the 2 and the 0 are supposed to mimic the N and O of Novotel.

rbundhun@thenational.ae

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