Now you can control your hotel room with your smartphone

(Image from Whitbread)We’ve seen a growing interest in ‘smart’ homes, so it’s not surprising to see that hotels are following suit with digitally-connected hotel suites.

A UK-based hotel chain has announced that they’ll be launching a new hotel concept starting next fall, called hub by Premier Inn. Guests to one of the five planned enhanced hotels would use the ‘hub’ app to check in, then they could use the app to do everything in their room from controlling the temperature to ordering meals.

Beginning in autumn 2014, Britain’s largest hotel chain, Whitbread, will be opening its first hub by Premier Inn location at St. Martin’s Lane in London. It will feature compact rooms (a ‘cozy’ 11.4 square metres or 123 square-feet), with an ultra-modern, space-saving design.

But the big feature is how you’ll be able to control your hotel experience from your smartphone. Before even entering the room, guests can check in, then set the temperature, lighting and television channel on in their room. Visitors can also pre-order their breakfast using the app. In a press release, Whitbread said that these will be the first rooms of their kind in the United Kingdom.

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Whitbread missed the honour of being first in the world by just a few months, it seems. In January, Hotel Skypark Central in Seoul, South Korea unveiled a similar program that allows visitors to order room service and control the room, with one additional perk: you can also use the smartphone as a key to unlock the room. Unfortunately, the technology, created by LG CNS, is only available on the ‘loaner’ phones the hotel has at the front desk, so you’ll have to borrow one of those for the duration of your stay. But hey, that’s still pretty cool, right? And LG says that visitors will soon be able to download an app on their own phones that will let them perform all the same functions.

The first five ‘hub’ hotels will be rolled out over the next three years, with a total of 40 hotels planned for construction by 2018.

(Photos courtesy of Whitbread.com)

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