The problem with hotel rooms: Where's the innovation?

If the hotel industry is lagging behind, is that a solid indication of where we are in terms of innovation?

As I sit in a hotel room and write this, I can't help but think that most hotels are behind the curve. As I sit on this king bed, I'm looking at a 27-inch standard-def TV and a couple of old-fashioned telephones. There's no DVD player and the video games available to me on the TV are played with the help of a Nintendo 64 controller. Am I missing something? I know I'm not staying in the Ritz-Carlton or some other fancy hotel, but come on! Can't I get something innovative?

Are your experiences the same with hotels? It seems that regardless of the quality of the hotel I stay in (this one is going for $200/night), I can't find one that offers what I'm looking for at an affordable price: an HDTV, a DVD player and full-HD content. Is that too much to ask? I certainly don't think so.

Which brings me to another idea: can it be that the hotel industry is an indicator of the nature with which we purchase our tech toys? If the hotel industry is lagging behind, is that a solid indication of where we are in terms of innovation?

For years the government has been touting a complete elimination of the TV signal as we know it today, but it continues to push it back because the people of this country haven't been able to catch up. And while this is certainly the truth, I'm starting to wonder if another reason is because the entire hotel industry hasn't even caught up yet. How can we justify flipping the HD switch when a $200/night hotel room doesn't even have a puny 20-inch LCD hanging from the wall?

I don't know. Maybe I'm just a little frustrated about being in this room. But if you ask me, the time has come for innovation in the hotel industry because, until that happens, I don't think we'll see any more innovation in the home--the hotel industry simply follows the majority of the nation.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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