Hilton Adds MP3 Jack to Room Alarm Clocks

Nearly 250,000 new clocks with mini jacks to use an iPod or other music device will be phased in to all existing and newly opened Hilton hotel properties this spring, the company announced Tuesday.

The Hilton Family Alarm Clock (see photo below) features what the company describes as an easy-to-set alarm, four pre-set music selection buttons.

To celebrate the rollout of the new clock, Hilton has launched an contest and created the Hilton Family Virtual Clock, a Mac and Windows software replica of the hotel clock that can be used as a desktop alarm.

The company is giving away 100 US$10 iTunes gift certificate, 100 Hilton Family Alarm Clocks, 250 iPod miniis, and 10 winners of a two night stay at a hilton hotel. The grand prize is a four-night stay at a participating Hilton hotel, a clock, an iPod mini and a $10 iTunes gift certificate.

Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations Club, and Homewood Suites by Hilton guest rooms will add the new clock between now and July 15, 2005. Hampton Hotels led the way by installing its version of the new clock in 2004 within more than 130,000 hotel rooms.

In addition to the MP3 jack, the new clocks are meant to alleviate a commonly held frustration by consumers about hotel clocks, the company said. According to a recent survey, 57% of business travelers have worried about sleeping past their alarm, and only one in five respondents actually trusted a hotel alarm clock to wake them up in the morning.

As a result, the company designed a new clock with fewer buttons, an easier to read display, and an automatic daily alarm time reset.