Hotel Room Of The Future Is German, Retrotastic

This hotel room of the future video shows that German engineers have not totally forgotten about retrotastic movies of the 1960's. Is this the future of the hotel room experience? See the video.


(Hotel Room of the Future video)

I'm trying to figure out what movie these guys were high on while they were putting this thing together. Sleeper, maybe? Or possibly the orbital lounge scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Anyway, the idea of what kind of space we will live in is a common theme for science fiction exploration; maybe I should have titled this article "The Exploration Of Personal Space."

I'd start out with a classic; the single room apartment occupied by Vashti in the fin de siecle classic The Machine Stops (1910), by E.M. Forster.

Imagine, if you can, a small room, hexagonal in shape, like the cell of a bee. It is lighted neither by window nor by lamp, yet it is filled with a soft radiance. There are no apertures for ventilation, yet the air is fresh. There are no musical instruments, and yet, at the moment that my meditation opens, this room is throbbing with melodious sounds. An armchair is in the centre, by its side a reading-desk--that is all the furniture. And in the armchair there sits a swaddled lump of flesh--a woman, about five feet high, with a face as white as a fungus. It is to her that the little room belongs...
(Read more about the machine apartment)

Robert Heinlein thought about automated hotel reservations in 1941. The luxury hotel described in his 1956 novel Double Star included amenities like a hush corner.

Here's another detail of a push-button living room, from Larry Niven's 1969 novella Death by Ecstasy:

A King bed was invisible behind a wall. The kitchen alcove, with basin and oven and grill and toaster, would fold into another wall; the sofa, chairs and tables would vanish into the floor. One tenant and three guests would make a crowded cocktail party, a cozy dinner gathering, a closed poker game. Card table, dinner table, coffee table were all there, surrounded by the appropriate chairs; but only one set at a time would emerge from the floor.

I'd be remiss if I didn't include a brief quote from William Gibson's Neuromancer; remember the coffin rack hotels?

The New Rose Hotel is a coffin rack on the ragged fringes of Narita International. Plastic capsules a meter high and three long, stacked like surplus Godzilla teeth in a concrete lot off the main road to the airport. Each capsule has a television mounted flush with the ceiling.
(Read more about Gibson's coffin rack hotels)

Check out the U-Stor-It apartments from Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash.

Hiro Protagonist and Vitaly Chernobyl, roommates, are chilling out in their home, a spacious 20 by 30 in a U-Stor-It in Inglewood, California. The room has a concrete slab floor, corrugated steel walls separating it from the neighboring units and - this is a mark of distinction separating it from the neighboring units - a roll-up steel door that faces northwest, giving them a few red rays at times like this, when the sun is setting over LAX.
(Read more about U-stor-it)

At least those German engineers were trying to give it some luxury. Do you have a favorite sfnal future hotel space in mind? I might have it filed under Living Space.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/2/2009)

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