Given the number of rooms I’ve stayed in over the past couple of years that still sported a 30-pin iPod alarm clock, I think it’s a safe bet that refreshing a new technology isn’t high up on the list of priorities for most hotels. For those looking to offer a little tech hospitality beyond the TV set and a USB port or two, Google’s angling for a place with its Nest Hub.
This week the company is announcing an update for the hotel industry aimed at bringing its smart screen to more hotel rooms. Tailored for the hotel experience, the update is focused on key features like wake-up calls, weather and information and local businesses. It’s also designed to let guests check out quickly and request things like towels from the concierge — essentially attempting to replace having to dial “0” on the hotel phone.
Honestly, it seems like a no-brainer for hotels looking to upgrade the experience. And, importantly, the Hub doesn’t have a built-in camera (as opposed to the Hub Max). That was a conscious omission on Google’s part that’s really welcome when inviting a device into an intimate setting like a hotel room. The company notes that guests won’t be able to sign in on the device, so no personal info will be shared. No audio is stored on the device either, and activities are wiped when the guest checks out.
The Hub is already being offered in a handful of boutique hotels across the U.S. and one in the U.K. Additional locations will be announced soon, and perhaps will be in place by the time people start heading to hotels again.