Archive for February, 2012
The latest innovation in travel-related technologies comes on a device you might already own. This week, a new, free app launched called LodgeNet Mobile App, allowing guests at over 2,000 hotels to control the TVs in their rooms with their own iPhones, iPads, or Android devices. For now, the app only works in hotels with TV systems operated by LodgeNet, but that probably won’t limit it too much. LodgeNet is the leading provider of pay-per-view programming in hotels, serving 1.8 million hotel rooms within well-known chains such as Marriott, Hilton, and InterContinental. With this new app, LodgeNet is trying rejuvenate a business that has lost customers who increasingly prefer to use their mobile devices for in-room entertainment.
This may seem like a superfluous feature to a hotel stay (personally, I would rank free breakfast and use of gym facilities far above), but as I sit in my hotel room writing this blog, the USAToday article where I first learned about this app has kindly reminded me that the remote control is one of the dirtiest items in a hotel room. Hand sanitizer anyone? There is even research to back up the potential interest in this app. Data from Altman Vilandrie & Co. and Research Now states that 40% of users ages 18 to 34 prefer to control their TVs with a smartphone or tablet instead of a remote. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban (owner of the Dallas Mavericks) has also shown his support in this venture, with a $2.3 million dollar investment in LodgeNet shares. In addition to the regular line up of free and paid TV and movie selections, the LodgeNet App promises other services too such as hotel information, local events, attractions, restaurants and even directions. Too bad I can’t try it out right now, but it’s definitely something I’ll keep in mind on my next trip.