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IBD - Trends & Innovations Section - 22 June Edition - "Hotels began lending handheld reading devices such as Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader digital Book to their guests to use during their stays.  The Algonquin Hotel in N.Y. and Gansenvoort hotels in three locations have started such services.  Guests at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami can borrow pre-downloaded iPods."

I suspect that will help sales - as we know, once people use a Kindle they will want their own.
 

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That's great!  A nice customer-appeal gesture on the part of the hotels, or a good marketing move by Amazon if they provided them to the hotels at a discount.

I guess they'd have to pre-load them with at least half a dozen classics and half a dozen bestsellers.

What other types of businesses could be doing the same thing?  Airlines, maybe?  Hospitals?  What else?
 

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Susan in VA said:
That's great! A nice customer-appeal gesture on the part of the hotels, or a good marketing move by Amazon if they provided them to the hotels at a discount.

I guess they'd have to pre-load them with at least half a dozen classics and half a dozen bestsellers.
I'm not sure of the logistics - but how about all of the major papers available on the Kindle. Imagine how much better that would be than just a paper. You'd have the big ones NYT, WP, WSJ, USAToday and a smart hotel would include your hometown paper if it was available!
 

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That is a great idea! Whoever uses the Kindle will be trapped in the awesomeness of the Kindle and end up buying one, I know from experience.  ;D  But I wonder how they keep the customer from stealing the Kindle??
 

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Jessi said:
That is a great idea! Whoever uses the Kindle will be trapped in the awesomeness of the Kindle and end up buying one, I know from experience. ;D But I wonder how they keep the customer from stealing the Kindle??
That's easy. . .charge 'em for it if it's not turned it at the end of the stay. . . with a hefty 'penalty'. But, like the fancy beds in some hotels, what they'll probably do is have literature in the room. . .and or links directly on their 'home' page for wireless internet. . .about how to buy your own. Maybe even some sort of discount, but at the least the hotel would get the affiliate payment.

There will always -- well, at least for a Very Long Time -- be some who won't be in the least interested, but this is an excellent way to give someone who's not sure, or maybe not familiar with the idea, a 'try on'. I am sure that the popularity of portable GPS systems is in part due to people renting cars that had them in and thinking, "that's way cool, I want one!".
 

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How do they prevent people from turning on Whispernet and buying their own books? Or is that the point, and the hotel charges for the books?
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
That's easy. . .charge 'em for it if it's not turned it at the end of the stay. . . with a hefty 'penalty'.
A-ha! Makes sense. Let it be known that I shouldn't reply to any threads before my first cup of coffee. My brain doesn't function properly until then. I'm just being lazy and don't want to go buy more. :-\ I need a never ending coffee pot.
 

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CS said:
How do they prevent people from turning on Whispernet and buying their own books? Or is that the point, and the hotel charges for the books?
I expect they'd put the charge on the hotel bill. . . . and, of course, the book belongs then to the hotel, not the hotel patron who bought it. . . . I'd expect to see some sort of 'info sheet' that you had to sign to borrow/rent the device. And, again, plenty of literature and other information about how you can get your own and continue reading that book you liked so much! :D

Alternatively they could de-register it; I guess they room occupant could register it to their own account, and buy a book if they knew how.
 

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Neat program :)
I am sure it will increase Kindle sales.
 

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How does the hotel get around the 6 devices per book license limit?

Maybe they're only using them for newspaper and magazine subscriptions? Or putting a different selection of books on each one? Buying each book once per 6 Kindles they own?

Hmm.
 

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Wow, that's pretty cool.
 

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All these questions about how it might work makes me think that somebody here should spend a night at one of these hotels and do a test drive and then report back!
 

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I actually stayed at the Algonquin many years ago on a business trip to NY. I decided to check out their website to see what they say about the Kindle. It looks like they using it for books, not magazines or newspapers (but you can get DTVs of them).

Selected amenities from their webite:

Exceptional services at our remarkable accommodations include:

•A world-class concierge, who will gladly arrange everything from transportation to the theater or restaurant reservations
•Front desk business services, providing laptop rentals, package shipping, and more
•Kindle available, loaded with your favorite book, in keeping with our rich literary tradition
•Complimentary Wi-Fi high-speed Internet access, throughout the hotel
•Complimentary copy of the New Yorker magazine and daily newspaper
 

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It is probably something you would have to request. Like when you make your reservation or during check in you request a Kindle for the duration of your stay. They probably only have a set number of kindles at the hotel and after they are all checked out you have to wait for another guest to return one before you get yours.

I would say one click from the kindle is disabled so the hotel probably pre-loads any books you are interested in and charges them to your room. The same way as if you were to buy one of those in-room movies. If you wanted a different book I guess you would take the Kindle back downstairs.

This is all my assumptions. They must have this all worked out, it's a very neat program. I have heard of several hotels doing that with preloaded ipods but the kindle is a new one.
 
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