There once was a time when a simple "Color TV. Vacancy" sign was enough to lure weary travelers off the interstate and into a single economy hotel room. (Hourly rates helped at certain establishments, also.)
But with hoteliers packing more modern amenities into their rooms, these tempting features keep getting more and more high tech.
So, look for
to add "Interactive Television" to that flashing sign out front. The
Wall Street Journal
reported that the company has formed a joint venture with
, a South Dakota-based distributor of movies, video games and Internet access in hotels across the U.S., to create a new partnership billed
The venture will put high-speed Internet access and interactive television into rooms, replacing the boring hum-drum adverts on sets with tailored advertisements that target certain travelers, like convention guests.
The service will end up in some Hilton hotel rooms before the end of this year, rolling out first with wireless keyboards that enable users to order movies via the television and check email. Ultimately, plans are that InnMedia will become something of an interactive concierge and master control for the hotel room, controlling everything from the thermostat to the lighting.
Both parties have agreed to dedicate $1 million to kick-start the venture.