EVERYTHING DO-ER Amazon has launched Alexa for Hospitality, a version of its AI helper that will help guests to control room functions, order room service and provide hotel information.
Marriott is Amazon's launch partner, and the chain will start to place custom Alexa consoles (including the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus) in rooms at select Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels this summer.
Other hospitality providers will be able to use the system by invitation, starting Tuesday.
Integration with existing systems was key, Amazon said, and Alexa for Hospitality will work with technology like DigiValet, Intelity, Nuvola and Volara. Guests will be able to make a request, like "Alexa, order wine," and have it routed to the correct system.
The same applies for room controls, where Alexa will hook into providers like World Cinema, GuestTek, Crestron and Inncom by Honeywell.
More standard Alexa functions, like playing music or TED Talks, are also included, and Amazon has said that a future update will enable guests to log in to their own Amazon account temporarily.
This is a much more compelling offer than the locked-down Android tablets or curated TV channels that hotels have provided in the past. Guests might actually take advantage of having 'their' Alexa in rooms, playing music from their own Spotify library or reading books from Audible - safe in the knowledge that they are logged out when they check out.
As well as Echo consoles, the Alexa for Hospitality system offers a whole suite of configuration tools that hotels can use to enable skills, adjust settings, track usage and more. Hotels will also be able to measure guest engagement through analytics.
That brings up some concerns about data privacy, but Amazon has thought ahead. There is no ‘god mode', so hotels won't be able to listen to voice recordings (which are deleted daily), or review Alexa's responses to users. µ
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