When it comes to technological developments, one of the biggest of 2012 is likely going to have to go to HTML5, a programming language that has brought a lot of new possibilities into the game. LG, meanwhile, has recently taken this programming language to its own next level by adding support for it to its Pro Centric IPTV (News - Alert) platform.
LG's Pro Centric IPTV platform is specifically geared toward the hospitality industry--those who spend a lot of time in hotel rooms are likely to notice this first--though there's likely to be room for the larger consumer market to get at least some spinoff out of this. At any rate, the addition of HTML5 to Pro Centric IPTV will make it easier for developers to bring in new apps for the system, which in turn increases its overall effectiveness and allows for more functions to come into play.
For instance, thanks to the Pro Centric IPTV platform's ability to work with both standard applications and the two-way capability inherent in IPTV, the whole thing can be reduced down to a set-top box, allowing hotels to bring in Pro Centric IPTV systems without having to commit to a huge new television buy. Better yet, with HTML5 capability in play, guests can link to the television's systems with their own mobile devices over Wi-Fi, and thus provide access to several new features like information about local events and landmarks, over-the-top video content and information about the hotels themselves.
While set-top box functionality is on the horizon, for the time being, the advancement in app technology is being targeted toward the LT770H line of televisions from LG. Thanks to the Panorama SMART system from Acentic, the LT770H will deliver a wide variety of useful options, including all those extras described previously and then some. For instance, LodgeNet's Envision system, a cloud-based interactive HDTV platform, can provide interactive program guides to what's on television, as well as in-room dining options, making actually calling room service a thing of the past.
Additionally, Nevotek's Univision brings in a series of services of its own, like an IPTV wake-up system over the traditional wake-up call, as well as quick check-out capabilities and city guides to show unique landmarks and locations of interest. Swisscom (News - Alert) Hospitality's ConnectedHotel TV even offers Web radio services--of which there are a steadily growing number--as well as social networking, stock exchange information and even some hotel services like room service functions.
All of this seems to be geared toward one specific end: making the overall hotel experience better and more user-friendly for guests. Given that travel has been somewhat down in recent years due to a sluggish economy that's left little room for frills like vacations--not to mention giving rise to the "staycation," in which practitioners stay close to home for their vacation fun--providing more and better services for hotel guests is a popular idea. Consider further the losses of business travel through improved means of remote conferencing and telepresence systems and that only makes things worse for the hotel industry, which needs to offer fresh services just to stay relevant, let alone lure otherwise unconvinced guests.
The LG Pro Centric IPTV platform, with or without HTML5, may not prove enough to overcome the handicaps under which the hotel industry operates, but it will certainly give hotels a better chance to survive than they had without.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey