ABB look to excite senses in UK hotel rooms

ABB has teamed up with renowned designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh to create a hotel room concept designed to interact with the five senses. The partnership combines Mahmoudieh’s design talents with the smart control possibilities of ABB’s European Installation Bus (EIB) intelligent installation system. In what could be a glimpse into the hotels of the future, the five +Sensotel project was displayed at Sleep ’05 in London last year, and continues to be exhibited at shows throughout Europe.

The concept behind five +Sensotel was to create a hotel room environment that can be adapted to the mood of the user. This works with the guest choosing one of three ‘moods’ that appeals to them, and the room automatically adjusting all relevant control systems to reflect the chosen mood; changing lighting, heating and even the music in the room. In addition, further settings can be made or adjusted according to the season of the year.

ABB incorporated its EIB intelligent installation system to manage the lighting and heating controls in the Sleep ’05 display’s hotel room concept. This was integrated with wiring accessories designed by ABB’s German subsidiary Busch-Jaeger, a Bang & Olufsen designed interactive control screen and Busch-Triton touch panels. The combination of these control technologies created a completely integrated system, where the hotel guest can control lighting, heating and audio-visual systems in their room. These can be controlled either via a single remote control or by using any of the Triton panels or touch screen.

Mahmoudieh worked with ABB because she found that the company had a keen interest in innovative design. “I was looking for a company that would shape their products to my needs, or what would be the needs of hotel customers.”

The feedback from the exhibition was positive. “Many hotel operators were very interested in the interactive touch screen we introduced that connected with the switches. Many visitors were amazed at how simple the screen was to use. I insisted on using icons, which is much easier and quicker to grasp than writing.”

ABB got involved with the project as it offered the ideal opportunity to break into the UK hotel market. Following Yasmine Mahmoudieh’s display at Sleep 05, ABB is now in discussion with various hotel chains about installing its technologies into UK hotels. ABB already has EIB systems in use in central Europe.

Christian Schiemann, Product Manager for ABB’s wiring accessories, said the advantage of using ABB is that it is one of the few companies in the UK that can offer a broad range of products which can be used and operated in an integrated way. Schiemann elaborated that, aesthetically, ABB is “the only manufacturing company offering wiring accessories with the same design and finish as its EIB end-user system”.

While the concept is aimed primarily at the luxury end of the market, the EIB system has many benefits which can be used throughout the hotel sector, as well as in other buildings and industries. Apart from providing more energy-efficient lighting controls, it can also provide greater safety and security to guests and staff, using the EIB system to automatically light areas of a hotel at set times and in emergency situations.

Mahmoudieh explains: “The idea of the five senses had such an enormous positive reaction that I have already been asked by office companies how this can be used in office situations.” She emphasised that the advantage of the concept is that this vision is achievable now.

The reaction of visitors to the event in London showed Mahmoudieh the potential of the market, “I believe that the opportunities addressing this individual choice, for the future, will be enormous”.

Architect Yasmine Mahmoudieh has established a reputation for cutting edge interior design in hotels, restaurants, shopping centres and office complexes. She has won several interior design awards. Madmoudiehdesign, her design studio, has two branches, with a third to open in Dubai in 2006. The studio is part of Leading by Design, a network comprising of leading hotel chains, interior designers and architects.

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