Sunday, September 13, 2009

No place like Home

I just recently got back from an incredible trip to Argentina, my time was split between Buenos Aires and Mendoza. While in Buenos Aires, I stayed at a great hotel in the Palermo Hollywood neighborhood. Hotel Home, started by a British record producer and his wife, an Argentine PR director is absolutely one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. While the hotel design itself is worthy of pages and pages of praise, the people that work there really make hotel Home live up to it's name.

Anyway, the rooms at Home were equipped with something I have never seen before. Attached to the room key is a plastic card the size of a credit card. The plastic card is what activates the power supply to your room. So, when you open the door, you insert the plastic card attached to your key into the wall receptacle right inside the door (See top photo). This simple action activates the electrical current into your room. Everything that you had left on, on the way out like lights, TV, mobile phone charger, turns back on. While this is cool to come back to, the real benefit is that when you leave and take your key (with plastic card attached), in one simple quick action you are able to deactivate all of the electrical current into the room. This is a tremendously effective and easy way to reduce power usage. It is so simple and brilliant that I started wondering about other applications. I have stayed in hotels all over the world and vastly different levels of comfort and I've never seen this before. Wouldn't it be great to see this in US hotels? With some slight modifications, wouldn't it be wonderful to see this technology in the workplace? Imagine if the swipe card or fob that you use to get into your office building could also be used at your desk to turn on your task light, computer, and monitor all at once. Then, at the end of day when you leave, you take your card/fob with you and all of your electronic equipment shuts off automatically. This would even be great to use in dorm rooms. With tuition rates far outpacing inflation, any way to help cut costs may help the overall price of education. The possibilities are fun to think about. I think that people are generally good about turning off lights and the television when they leave home (where they pay the bills). However, when people are in places like hotels and their office and someone else is picking up the bill, laziness kicks in. This seems like such a great solution.

I posted some other pics from Home Hotel for some eye candy of the best place to stay in Buenos Aires. The Home breakfast (pictured) was the way I wish I could start everyday.


Richard said...

This will begin to take place in many hotels in the US, I work for a company called Green Building Focus and we promote sustainability and energy conservation. One of the companies we work with is going to take this to the next level in the US. The company is called Mode Green!

Rich Walsh

Preston said...

Yup, I've seen this same thing in Japan. The US is behind the times...

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