Novotel, Accor's upper middle bracket hotel brand, is making the future reality. The "Room 3120" designed and realised in cooperation with Microsoft marries new, experimental technologies and those already available with a unique architectural concept.
Guests wishing to experience this revolutionary yet distinctly realistic environment for themselves can book the showcase room at Novotel's Parisian property, the Hotel Vaugirard Montparnasse, until February 14, 2012. Prices start from EUR 199 a night.
Last September Denis Hennequin announced Accor's new strategic objective to set international benchmarks in the hotel trade and to revolutionise the guest experience. As part of this commitment to innovation, a new type of guestroom has been developed for Novotel that completely redefines the way spaces are used and integrates the very latest technologies and amenities. High-tech and design enter a harmonious alliance. "It is absolutely vital to take account of our guests' constantly changing habits and expectations. For this we had to focus heavily on rethinking the digital equipment of our rooms," Accor Chief Marketing Officer Grégoire Champetier explains.
Microsoft was instrumental in the room fit-out, particularly when it came to integrating the Xbox 360 game console featuring a revolutionary Kinect sensor enabling games and entertainment programmes to be controlled by gesture and voice recognition. A partnership between Novotel and Microsoft represents the next logical step in a process of collaboration that began four years ago when Novotel installed the first Xbox 360 consoles in the public areas of its hotels.
"We wanted to do something new, surprising and inventive that would give people a fresh energy boost," says Marcelo Joulia, managing director of the architects' office Naço, which Novotel commissioned to design "Room 3120". "The very first thing we did was to reinvent the fundamental spatial concept, opting to abandon the conventional, rather outdated cubic shape. We also worked with lighting and made sure that the furniture doesn't get in the way. "Room 3120" is multifunctional, flexible and barrier-free, adapting to guests' needs – rather than the other way round."
Surprising as the innovative nature of "Zimmer 3120" may seem, it is nonetheless extremely intuitive and ergonomic. Its functions are also designed to be family-friendly, providing simple, uncomplicated access to games, the Internet and entertainment.
It takes guests only a few minutes to find their way around the Kinect user interface and learn how to handle the Xbox 360 console. They can also try out the interactive Sensorit mirror. This incorporates a Kinect camera unit with a mirror-like display with which users interact by means of gestures and movements to call up news, weather information and music – with the wave of a hand. The high-tech room further features a surface multi-touch table designed to make the stay more pleasant for kids in particular. But adults are not short-changed either: at their fingertips they will find access to extensive multimedia content as well as music and news. The entire fit-out is fully functional and could, in the foreseeable future, be made available for the whole Novotel hotel network.