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Pillows that glow in the dark and "smart" sheets that read a guest's body heat are among futuristic products set to revolutionise the hospitality business, according to a leading industry expert.
Visualising the future and preparing now for the needs of tomorrow's guests come under the spotlight at The Hotel Show 2008, the premier supplies show for the Middle East hospitality sector that takes place at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 8-10 June 2008.
Dramatic breakthroughs are taking place in the tiny world of nanotechnology - the use of extremely small structures at atomic and molecular levels. As an example of how small, one nanometer equals one millionth of a millimetre, or one ten-thousandth of the thickness of a human hair.
"There are no doubts that these developments will have a major impact on how we design public places and particularly hotels and resorts," said Claude Bérubé, the president of Ove Design Interiors, a multi-disciplinary design firm.
Bérubé, who is the Head of the Interior Design Department for Public Work and Government of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, will be a headline speaker at The Seven Star Conference, which runs alongside The Hotel Show.
Bérubé will be presenting on design for sustainability and innovative materials for the hotel industry. Giving some examples Bérubé said: "Nanotechnology scientists have achieved major technological breakthroughs that should soon lead to the production of futuristic, strong, light and flexible 'smart' yarns for clothing and covering materials; fabrics with the ability to conduct electricity and heat, eliminate pests, have hygienic surfaces and provide self-cleaning coatings."
Potential applications include bacteria-repellant bathroom surfaces; bed sheets that resist wear and soil and adjust for comfort or a pillowcase that glows when a guest reads in bed.
More complex but possible are "smart" sheets that read a guests' body temperature and adjust the amount of body heat retained to create a comfortable experience. When the sheet reads a guest's feet are cold, heat is moved, via embedded nanotubes, from areas like the chest and head to the feet. When a guest is warm, the fabric's fibres "breathe" by opening pores and letting out heat.
Nanotechnologies can also help make hotels more cost-effective, more energy-efficient and more in tune with their environment. Examples include "healing" coatings that can remove and neutralise pollutants from a building's surrounding atmosphere.
Also on the agenda for the Seven Star Conference are: future trends and challenges in guestrooms; the changing landscape of hospitality technology; using technology to create smart buildings; food and beverage trends in the region; staff retention; and global superstar hospitality brands.
The Hotel Show showcases the latest products, services and technologies for the hospitality industry. Organised by dmg world media Dubai, The Hotel Show is one of the most important dates in the international industry calendar and visitors include regional owner-operators, decision makers from international hotel chains, architects and interior designers.
In excess of 16,500 square metres of exhibition space has been reserved for 2008 to accommodate surging demand from both international and regional exhibitors.
About The Hotel Show Seven Star Conference
Based in Dubai, the acknowledged hub of business in the Middle East, The Hotel Show is the largest and most important event for the hospitality sector in the region and beyond. The show features a comprehensive range of the very latest products, services and technologies from around the world and attracts the key industry decision makers across the territory.
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