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Why One Hotel Lets Guests Test Technology Before They Buy

Hoteliers are constantly looking for new ways to interact with guests, engender loyalty, and offer an experience that makes their hotel stand out as unique, fun and different. Hotel Nia, a new 250-room Autograph Collection hotel located in the heart of Silicon Valley, recently introduced a new guest technology program that aims to accomplish all three of those initiatives. It has partnered with b8ta, a new kind of retail store designed for discovering, trying, and buying new innovative products. At the beginning of December, Hotel Nia began housing six products for guests to test out complimentary either in their room or throughout the property. Guests then have the option to purchase the products with a select discount upon completion of their stay.

Products include the Trekz Titanium, wireless stereo headphones featuring bone conduction technology, the Neo smartpen, which transfers handwritten notes to an iOS or Android device;  Muse, a brain sensing headband that serves as a personal mediation guide; Aura Frames, which displays photos from a guest's phone; DEEBOT OZMO, a robotic vacuum; as well as Molekule, an air purifier that breaks down harmful microscopic pollutants.

To find out more about this program and how guests are responding to it thus far, Hospitality Technology interviewed General Manager Simone Harms.

HT: What was the inspiration behind partnering with a company such as b8ta, and how does this relationship tie into the goals of the hotel?

HARMS: Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Hotel Nia sits at the epicenter of innovation. Partnering with a company such as b8ta further positions Hotel Nia as a destination where guests and innovators alike receive a unique experience, giving them the opportunity to tap into a new creative process, and find alternative ways to be brilliant.

HT: What are the six products available for guests to test out? Why were these products specifically chosen for Hotel Nia, and will these products ever change?

HARMS: The products available for guests to test and loan out are: Trekz Titanium Wireless headset, iLi translator, Muse meditation headband, Aura Digital Photoframe, Molekule Air Filter and the Neo Smart Pen. We picked these products as they show a wide range of fun tech gadgets and different user applications.

HT: Does Hotel Nia have any plans in the works to install any of these technologies on property permanently?

HARMS: We do not have specific plans yet but are working on potential Muse meditation meeting offerings, Molekule Air filter purified guestrooms and offering the Treks Titanium headset as a work out option.

HT: What has been guest response so far to these products?

HARMS: We get a lot of positive guest feedback as these products are not only unique, but allow guests to experience a new tech product that enhances travel or every day life while on the road. Our b8ta store partners have welcomed quite a few customers, who wanted to see the full range of products b8ta offers.

HT: How does this partnership follow the trend of hotels offering guests more interesting and innovative technology to use throughout their stay?

HARMS:  Hotel Nia has reimagined the way in which technology can reach a consumer. By offering a variety of products that fit a multitude of needs – including those that are focused on wellness or directed to the leisure or business traveler – guests are getting a first-hand opportunity to test and explore the latest products, all within the comfort of their hotel room.

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