You don’t need a flux capacitor and DeLorean going 88 mph to take a trip into the future. All you need to do is stay in Room 114 at the Courtyard Hotel in Newark, Delaware.
The Marriott-owned hotel serves as a teaching facility for the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program at nearby University of Delaware.
Room 114, known as the Experimental Room, or simply the X-Room, is where the hotel tries out new and different technologies to make the stay more pleasant.
The room is decked-out with a 42-inch flat screen TV, Windows Media Center-equipped computer, a sound system, digital picture frame and eight remotes (although four of those remotes go to the room's Nintendo Wii).
The pretty flat screen on the wall also serves as an onscreen menu that allows you to control everything from lighting to environmental settings and even lets you access hotel services. The system is very user friend too, allowing “techofeeble” Lovitt to easily program an “alarm clock” using features of the room, such as the television and the gradual increase in lighting.
But the idea behind the room seems to be that “the amenities are more functional than futuristic,” according to Lovitt.
“We want to have technology that’s functional without overwhelming people. We want to introduce new stuff, but we don’t want guests to have to call the front desk to find out how to turn on the TV,” Newark Courtyard Managing Director William Sullivan said.
The most functional items in the room are a digital door viewer that allows the guest to see more of the hallway than with a regular peephole and a Chargepod that provides power for guests that travel with more than a few electronics.
And, unlike competitors’ experimental rooms, the X-Room is open to the public. And it's in high demand. Some people even go as far as to request it when making reservations.
So if you’re moving a kid into the U-Del dorms this Fall, or just want to get away for the night, go experience what soon could become standard in hotels across the nation.