Imagine entering a hotel room and finding a familiar voice to welcome you, someone that can understand and execute any request, anytime. No, we are not talking about a person in the flesh but Alexa. Amazon’s digital voice assistant is taking over hotel chains.
Marriott is the first major hotel chain to offer the Alexa for Hospitality service, providing each room with the voice-activated virtual concierge.
“Marriott has a long track record of innovating for our guests, and we’re thrilled to be among the first to offer Alexa for Hospitality. So many of our guests use voice technology in their home and we want to extend that convenience to their travel experience” - said Jennifer Hsieh, vice president of customer experience innovation at Marriott.
The idea is to put Alexa into more contexts, giving customers the opportunity to bring over the experience they already have today in their home, enjoying the convenience of voice control in places it didn’t previously exist.
Alexa for Hospitality
Guests will be able to ask Alexa for information about the hotel like calling the front desk, requesting room service, booking a spa appointment, playing music either from your own Prime Music, Spotify, or Pandora playlists and other general information.
It works with existing hotel technologies and hospitality solution providers, using the hotel’s WiFi network – so if someone tries to steal the device, it won’t work anywhere else.
A privacy problem?
I know what you are thinking: “Isn’t there another goal here? Is Amazon trying to harvest more and more data about us?”. That may be true, but at least Amazon cares about guests' privacy.
Hoteliers can use Alexa for Hospitality to measure engagement through analytics and adapt services based on guest feedback. But the data collected from the devices is anonymized and won't be shared with the hotels and the recordings of commands are deleted daily. Also, when a guest changes rooms or checks out, the guest's account will be deleted from the device.
In the future, Bezos plans to offer customers the option of log-in to their personal Amazon account to the in-room experience, so guests will be able to access their own playlists, audiobooks, contacts and more but they won’t be able to make purchases.
However, having an Alexa device in a hotel room may make some guests feel uneasy, so they can leave it muted throughout their stay or they can unplug it entirely for extra security.
Would you equip your hotel room with Alexa? Let us know what you think in the comments below!