Get ahead of the requests. The hotel industry bases a large part of its future projection on this objective. To achieve it is including more and more artificial intelligence in your business. It’s been a while since the robots entered the hotels; in 2016 Marriott had already launched with a receptionist named Mario at his hotel in Ghent and other chains such as Hilton or InterContinental have employed mechanical janitors.
There are those who predict that in five years the robots will be at ease in the hotels. Some hotel companies have long held development agreements with large companies that invest in artificial intelligence (AI) research. One of those cases is the association of Marriott with the laboratories that the e-commerce giant Alibaba has for this purpose. Others like Accorhotels or Hilton Worldwide are buying startups and technology platforms by investing in their own technological capabilities.
The key is that not only the client enjoys the advantages of the AI but its implementation in the hotels helps to improve competitiveness. For starters, Alibaba has already devised a robot that will be responsible for doing tasks such as serving food to guests or bringing them towels. Its speed – one meter per second – will allow hoteliers to improve customer service and time management. This robot buttons, they claim, “is the next step in the evolution towards smart hotels.” In fact, about 80 hotels in the United States, France, Japan, Singapore and Canada use a delivery robot.
In the near future it will not open the door of your hotel room and you will find a humanoid-shaped robot. Your territory will not extend beyond the reception and corridors, at the moment. But IA will be found in another of its forms: the speakers. Amazon, Google, Sony, LG, Apple … many companies have developed or work on speakers with brains and ears. Its technology, which some have specialized in hotel applications, is already key.
We already regulate the home heating with an app or the suitcase follows us through the airport without loading it, so imagine that Siri, the assistant of your iPhone, was always attentive to your needs. It has been a reality for some time with devices such as Amazon Echo, one of the loudest speakers in the hospitality industry. His artificial intelligence, Alexa, is also present in other industries such as airlines. And a new patent will help you to know how the guest is: he will recognize audible signals such as coughing and intonation and will be able to provide, for example, medicines or suggest products.
Amazon’s competition in electronic commerce, Alibaba, also has its Tmall Genie. With the AI of this speaker, only voice, touch or a hand gesture will be necessary to satisfy many needs. It will be what customers “will find in the hotels of the future, which until now depend entirely on human work,” said Lijuan Chen, CEO of Alibaba recently. “We have taken a new step on the road to smart hotels.”
The Chinese giant of commerce has taken even one more leap when presenting his own hotel without personnel: Flyzoo, where with the Tmall Genie food is ordered or the channel is changed. And that is also a business aspect to fatten the figures of Alibaba, because the hotel facilitates the purchase of accessories and articles only by photographing them.
Also published on Medium.