The business trip: arrive at the hotel with visions of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’; take an early supper at the hotel’s restaurant, move on to a forced conversation at the bar, watch half a second rate film in bed before rising for a needlessly early start in the morning. If you’re feeling adventurous you might go for a walk round the block.

Marriott are hoping to improve this often bland experience by creating a social network for their hotel lobbies. Through Six Degrees (a prototype by MIT's Mobile Experience Lab) guests can discover how they are connected to one another before potentially socialising at events planned by Marriott. Six Degrees connects to a user's LinkedIn profile, and pulls his or her personal and professional interests. From there, the app matches the user to fellow guests with a similar background, be it geographically, socially or work related.

The network has three main touch points; an app, a digital wall projection and the focus of the project, an interactive wooden table. When someone places their phone on the table, the table can read their interests or the activities they checked into. When two people at the table have something in common, LED lights, in matching colours, will glow and cue the connection.  After that the rest is easy.

This is another example of hospitality brands stepping up the services they provide for their customers, and suggests consumers expecting more from their accommodation.