Hub hotel has smart rooms you run from your wrist


Hub hotel smart room
That map on the wall is an augmented-reality city guide.
Photo: Premier Inn

I typically look for two things in a hotel room: Internet included with the room and free breakfast. But a new hotel in London’s Covent Gardens might have me adding some things to that list.

The recently opened Hub hotel from Premier Inn, the U.K.’s largest lodging chain, sports some pretty impressive tech features that involve both smartphones and wearables like the Apple Watch. And while your hotel room shouldn’t be the coolest part of any trip, Premier is really giving the rest of your vacation something to live up to.

TechWorld got a chance to stay at the Hub hotel, and their stay included the use of an Apple Watch Sport (yours won’t; this was just for demonstration purposes). Hub has its own app for the iPhone and Apple Watch which gives customers quick and convenient ways to control their rooms from their pockets or wrists.

In addition to working as a room key via the same near-field communication that runs Apple Pay, the app lets lodgers run their climate control, television, and lights from the Apple Watch. The iPhone app has even greater functionality and includes features like breakfast orders and housekeeping requests.

Coolest of all, the app has some augmented-reality functionality with the big, stylish London map on the wall of every room. Lodgers can point their iPhone cameras at the wall and receive orientation and points of interest before they head out into the city. The TechWorld reviewer recommends bringing a printed guide along if you aren’t familiar with the area, but it’s really impressive how the hotel has worked its room decor into the connected experience.

Starwood Hotels has its own app that works with the Apple Watch for room access, but chains will surely start building in the fully connected experience that Premier is sporting. It’s just too cool to pass up.


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