Yes, I’m calling out Marriott with my inaugural Dumb Hotel Ideas award.
It’s taken until December, but I have the winner of this year’s inaugural Dumb Hotel Ideas award.
If you’ve paid any attention to the news over the last week, I’m sure you can guess the “innovation” I’m bestowing this honor upon. That’s right—the touch-sensitive shower door from Marriott that allows guests to record their shower door sketches in the steam and transfer the image to a tablet, where they can “share it via email or social to enable further brainstorming,” according to the news release from Marriott.
Marriott based this idea on a survey of travelers, about half of whom said their best ideas come to them while showering.
So let’s think this through: I’m on a business trip, in the shower, and I come up with an idea for a story. First of all, am I that feeble that I can’t remember my own idea for five minutes until I can write it down? And second of all, am I really going to write that idea on the shower door and then share it with my editorial team “to enable further brainstorming?”
I can just imagine that meeting now: “Hey, team of people I manage, plus my boss: Let me share with you this photo that I took in the shower, illustrating an idea I had. I thought we could brainstorm on it a little.”
No. Freaking. Way. Are you kidding me?
Furthermore, as a woman who travels alone for business a lot, if you think I’m getting anywhere near any sort of “tech-enabled” shower, you’re crazy. Where there is the ability to record a drawing in steam, there’s the ability to record other impressions, and that’s just not cool.
In reality, this pilot—which is only happening in one hotel for two months—will probably be pretty harmless and fun. Some dads will likely draw funny cartoon faces on the shower door for their kids, or teens will do some initials with a heart around them, and the “innovation” will be over and done with.
Am I being curmudgeonly about this? Yes, probably. But honestly Marriott, aren’t there better ways to spend your tech innovation dollars to solve perceived pain points for travelers? How about more phone charging space in the bathroom? Or hair dryers with cords that don’t take a Boy Scout merit badge in knot-tying to undo? I liked that wine-serving robot you had going for a while—let’s see more of him.
What do you think about this idea, or any of the countless other innovations happening in the name of tech-forwardness at hotels all over the world? Good ideas or flops in the making? Let me know! Comment below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter @HNN_Steph.
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