Microsoft demonstrated a prototype of the Connected Room platform at the conference. Hardware-wise, the Connected Room system runs on a small PC box with a microphone. “While it’s built on Windows 10, the Connected Room uses cloud technology in the backend to enable integration with current hotel PMS and CRS systems,” says Greg Jones, Microsoft’s managing director of worldwide hospitality and travel. “This platform enhances what hotels already have and won’t require them to rip out their current systems.” The backend integration allows hotels to capture usage analytics data from their guests and to make targeted offers based on this data. Microsoft and its partners found that guests spent their first 12 minutes in a room figuring out the thermostat, light switches, TV controls, and hotel amenities and used this research to design the Connected Room’s interface. The idea is to streamline each process through a unified user interface on a TV screen or tablet. This interface combines room service menus, information about the property, in-room entertainment, and environmental controls into a single system that can be operated by a visitors voice. Get the full story at Lodging Magazine