Applications Devices Services

The Plaza Hotel New York: iPads in every room

I’ve been following the developments of Intelity, the company behind ‘ICE’ (“Interactive Customer Experience”). ICE works on touchscreen, television, smartphone, laptop or tablet.

What’s particularly interesting is what they’ve been doing with iPads.

I’ve been raving about this stuff ever since it went live last year.

The concept is simple. Arrive at your hotel and install the app (or, in the case of the Plaza Hotel, pick up the in-room iPad) and boom, you’ve got total access to all key hotel services from the device.

One of the WORST things about room service is having to phone them. It’s a total flipping arse. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand anything that’s stupidly inefficient, so usually, I don’t bother calling. Other times, I call and the phone rings and rings and rings. I find it *hugely* frustrating because I KNOW that the hotel restaurant is working perfectly fine having walked by it moments before. The *disconnect* is between me on the 17th floor and the guy who is supposed to answer the room service phone.

I’ve actually left my room and gone to the bar to order food in the past. Often, depending on the hotel, this is quicker and more reliable than calling room service. Case in point? The last time I was at the Palo Alto Sheraton, it was *literally* quicker to order at the bar. Plus the food arrived warmer that way.

So the ability to tap-tap-tap on an iPad (or any other device) is hugely appealing.

BGR reports that Intelity have done a deal with New York’s The Plaza hotel to place their ICE service (pre-installed on an iPad) into every room.

Good plan.

I think they’ll see a lot more orders. What’s it do? Jonathan from BGR explains:

Replacing an older touch panel, the new app allows guests to control lights in the room, change their heat and air conditioning systems, order room service, make restaurant reservations, request wake up calls, communicate with the concierge, and even print boarding passes.

Come on! Very cool indeed.

The Intelity site explains that they support smartphones and laptops too. I’d like to see that in action. I really like the idea of being able to summon a taxi (charged to my hotel account) from the hotel’s own application.

Indeed, when I’m in Paris at the moment, I’m usually working about 200ft from the hotel. So if they had this service, I could theoretically order room service and then leave the office 5 minutes later so my food arrives when I do. Heh.

This kind of connected service is definitely the way ahead.

Fancy a look at the iPad app? Here’s a nice video tour:

Intelity’s ICE Touch Premiers at The Plaza Hotel from Intelity on Vimeo.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “The Plaza Hotel New York: iPads in every room”

Good news, the ICE app not only prints boarding passes from the rooms, but also checks real time flight stats!

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