Hilton Debuting ‘Connected Rooms’ Controlled via Smartphone Next Year

Hilton today announced the upcoming debut of the “Connected Room,” a high-tech guest room that will enable hotel guests to control the temperature, lighting, TV, window coverings, and more from their smartphones using the Hilton Honors app.

Guests will also be able to personalize their rooms using technology that loads popular streaming media and other accounts to their in-room TVs. Eventually, guests will also be able to use voice commands to access content and upload artwork and photos to display in their rooms.



Hilton already allows guests to use the Hilton Honors app to check into their rooms and open their room doors using their smartphones, but with the Connected Room expansion, additional in-room controls will be available.

“At Hilton, almost all digital products are born out of necessity and shortcomings in the marketplace – and Connected Room is no exception,” said Joshua Sloser, senior vice president of Digital Product, Hilton. “The technology we put in hotel rooms has to be intuitive, simple and quick to pick up because guests typically spend a limited amount of time in their rooms and we want them to spend that time enjoying the experience instead of adapting to new technology.”

The Connected Room is live in one Hilton hotel and will deploy “in the coming weeks” to several more before rolling out on a wider scale in 2018.
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iOS HomeKit bug exposed smart locks to unauthorized access

Apple has another security issue to deal with. As 9to5Mac reports today, Apple's HomeKit framework has a vulnerability that allows unauthorized access to connected smart devices like locks and garage door openers. Apple has already put in a server-si…

Apple Shares Top Movies, TV Shows, Music, Podcasts and Books of 2017

Apple today published its annual lists featuring the most popular media content in the iTunes Store and iBooks Store in 2017, highlighting the best music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and books.

“The Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran was the top song of the year, while the top album was Drake’s “More Life.” Other hit albums included Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN,” Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” Ed Sheeran’s “Divide,” and “Starboy” from The Weeknd.



Top movies in 2017 included “Moana,” “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Wonder Woman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2,” and “Sing.”

The Top TV shows were “Game of Thrones,” “The Walking Dead,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Americans,” and “Rick and Morty.”

NPR’s “Fresh Air” was the most downloaded podcast, followed by “The Joe Rogan EXperience” and “Stuff You Should Know.”

The best selling fiction book of the year was “Camino Island: by John Grisham, followed by “The Handmade’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood and “Origin” by Dan Brown. “Hillbilly Elegy” was the number one nonfiction book, followed by “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson and “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil de Grasse Tyson.

Full top lists for movies, TV shows, books, music, and podcasts can be found in Apple Music, the iTunes Store and the iBooks Store.
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Comparison: Mophie and Belkin’s Wireless Chargers for iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus

With the release of iOS 11.2, faster 7.5W wireless charging is available on the iPhone X, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.

Currently, there are two chargers that Apple has confirmed support 7.5W wireless charging: the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad and the Mophie Wireless Charging Base, both of which are sold by Apple.

Now that 7.5W wireless charging has been implemented, we thought we’d take a look at both charger options for those of you who are considering a purchase following the update.

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Both the Mophie and Belkin wireless chargers are priced at $60 and offer the same charging speeds, but there are some distinct design differences between the two. The Mophie charger is smaller in diameter and is available only in black, while the Belkin model is larger and available only in white.

There are dozens if not hundreds of less expensive wireless chargers available, but it’s not yet entirely clear which of these – if any – support 7.5W wireless charging in Apple’s new devices at this point in time. It looks like there may be an Apple-controlled factor that prevents some existing higher-watt chargers from offering 7.5W charging speeds on the new iPhones, but that’s something we’re still investigating in a forthcoming post comparing wireless charging options.

We tested the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad on both an iPhone X running iOS 11.1.2 with 5W charging speeds and on iOS 11.2 with 7.5W charging speeds, and we did notice a small difference, but wireless charging speed is dependent on many different variables and it can vary.



In our current testing, 7.5W wireless charging was faster than both 5W wired and 5W wireless charging, so iPhone owners who are looking for faster wireless charging speeds may be interested in considering one of the chargers offered by Apple.

Both the Belkin Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad and the Mophie Wireless Charging Base can be purchased from the Apple Online store and in retail shops around the world.
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Starbucks offers AR tours of its lavish Shanghai coffee shop

Starbucks has a long, long tradition of using tech to bring you into its coffee shops, and that will be truer than ever with the latest supersized Reserve Roastery location in Shanghai. The beverage behemoth will use a mobile app to offer guided aug…

Apple Pay Cash money transfers are available in the US

Apple had to rush-release iOS 11.2 to tackle a nasty date-sensitive bug, leaving hopeful Apple Pay Cash users twiddling their thumbs. Thankfully, you haven't had to wait too long — Apple's money transfer service is rolling out in the US. As promised…

Google’s Allo messaging may link to your email account

Google has been going out of its way to keep Allo relevant, but there's been one glaring issue: you need a phone number to sign up. How's it going to compete with iMessage or Facebook Messenger if there needs to be a phone involved at some point? Y…

Apple releases iOS 11.2 with ‘I.T’ autocorrect fix, faster wireless charging and Apple Pay Cash

 Apple released an iOS update in the middle of the night (Cupertino time). iOS 11.2 brings Apple Pay Cash, but the feature is not live yet. The company still needs to flip a switch on its servers to enable it. Today’s update also enables support for faster 7.5W Qi wireless charging. If you have an iPhone 8 or an iPhone X as well as a wireless charger that supports 7.5W or more, your… Read More