II. System Overview
The Hotel Intelligent Multimedia & Information System (HIMIS) is an intelligent system that incorporates multiple functionalities including television, PC, Internet, multimedia, information, e-commerce and so forth. Utilizing digital technologies and Internet technologies, the HIMIS integrates an assortment of facilities and services available at the hotel into one package that allows guests to enjoy television, VOD, shopping, web surfing, word processing, etc. in the comfort of their own suites. In addition, the system also allows guests to perform queries or access all sorts of information about the hotel anywhere within the establishment, turning the hotel into a multipurpose complex that functions as a lodge, personal movie theatre, mobile office, vacation resort and shopping mall rolled into one. The system is divided into five major components:
1. In-suite TV, Video-on-Demand System (TV & VOD )
2. Internet Connection System(Browser)
3. TV Shopping System (Shopping)
4. Multimedia Advertising System (Signage)
5. Hotel server, back-end and business center systems
6. Remote Administration and Centralized Media Distribution System
The in-suite TV & VOD system offers functions such as TV viewing, VOD, Internet access and so forth. The system provides a dual TV/PC platform that allows the guest to watch TV and surf the Internet at the same time.
In order to make guests from all over the world feel at home, the system has a multilingual interface. The language of the interface is based on the nationality of the guest who checked into the suite. The selection of TV programs will also vary according to the guest’s nationality.
All services provided by the system are accessible through menus that are intuitive and easy to operate. Every movie features a brief introduction and preview so that guests have a basic idea of the plot and contents before they make their selection.
The system also delivers reasonably-priced telecommunication services for travelers. It integrates Internet telephony and video conferencing functionalities so that guests are able to make calls through the internet to their families on the other side of the world or convene meetings with their foreign offices.
The system utilizes embedded PCs that have been specially designed for hotel suites. When a guest checks out, the PCs are restored to their factory settings. This eliminates the likelihood of virus attacks and leaves no user records. As such, the system offers excellent privacy and is tailored to hotel use.
The value-added TV shopping service offers photos, catalogs, CF videos and face-to-face sales service for handpicked products so guests can buy quality merchandise without leaving their suites.
The Signage System is a multimedia system that replaces cable TV. Multimedia advertisements can be played in the hotel restaurants, lobby and elevator foyers. The contents can also include cable TV program, dates, time, weather, temperature and real-time news.
The system is designed for use by hotel chains and has two main components: the hotel system and centralized remote control system. The monitoring, maintenance, administration, programming and updating of the hotel system can all be controlled over the Internet by the remote central control center. The data used by the hotel system are not only stored in the hotel servers but also uploaded in real-time back to the central command center for backup and centralized management.