Do you love Amazon’s Alexa so much that you miss her when you go on vacation? Well, that could be a thing of the past with the introduction of Amazon for Hospitality. The introduction of the new service will put voice-enabled Amazon Echo devices in hotel rooms.
The in-room devices will be pre-programmed for a variety of voice-enabled functions such as the ability to adjust the lights, blinds, thermostat and more. And Amazon says that they are working on allowing hotel guests to connect their own personal Amazon accounts to allow guests to play their own music and access their personal contacts.
The Voice-Controlled Concierge
The voice-controlled gadgets are cool. However, the real magic is in how the Amazon Echo can connect guests to hotel services. Hotel properties are able to enable services that will allow guests to do things such as order room service, call the front desk or check out. Amazon’s service will route these requests to the appropriate service group such as housekeeping or room service. This will allow for efficient servicing of guests’ needs.
Hotels can even build their own custom skills. Using Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit, a hotel can create differentiation by employing skills tailored to the property’s amenities.
Checking Into the Future
Marriott International properties will be among the first hotels to embrace the new technology. The Charlotte Marriott City Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Marriott Irvine Spectrum in Irvine, California, will be the first Marriott International properties to introduce Alexa for Hospitality this summer.
A product demonstration was held in early June to showcase the new system’s features. Marriott explained their interest in the program:
For hotels, Alexa for Hospitality is intended to help deepen and improve upon each individual property’s guest experience. Marriott International vice president of customer experience innovation, Jennifer Hsieh, described the hotel brand’s partnership and launch with Amazon as a move to bring the experience that consumers have at home into the hotel environment. “We want to transition what guests do at home to what they’re able to do during a hotel stay,” Hsieh said at the product demonstration.
Privacy is Paramount
Amazon is aware of the privacy missteps it has encountered recently. And they are taking steps to limit guest exposure through the new Amazon for Hospitality program. This will include logging guests out of their personal Amazon accounts upon checkout and storing a smaller subset of data than is done through the regular Amazon Echo program.
In general, the Alexa device will store more aggregate data to help hotels learn more about the types of information and services requested by guests. This in intended to be used to improve hotel services. The device will not store detailed information about the specific services requested by hotel guests.
They are also quick to note that each Amazon Echo device is equipped with an “Off” button if a guest is not interested in using the service.
However, Amazon reports that they have field tested the service to generally positive reviews. They indicate that seven out of 10 participants in the field test would request an Alexa-enabled room for their next hotel stay.
If the initial pilot tests are successful, look for a wider rollout in the not-so-distant future.