GUESTROOM INNOVATIONS TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: Voice Tech Makes Waves in Hotel Rooms

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Voice technology offers solutions for next-generation service and streamlined operations in guestrooms.
By Dorothy Creamer, Editor, with additional reporting by Julie Ritzer Ross, Contributing Editor - 10/31/2018

As guests invest in voice-enabled controls and automated innovations in their homes, hotels will need to identify ways to design and enable the guestroom environment in similar ways. Not only can voice-controlled devices improve the overall guest experience, the technology affords hotels ancillary benefits in operational efficiencies as well. Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Lodging Technology Study reports that 70% of hoteliers’ believe AI/voice-enabled devices have the most potential out of emerging technologies.

Streamlining guest services and bolstering employee efficiencies frees up staff to focus on more “human” interaction when guests want and/or need it, says Mitch Bolen, general manager, Sheraton Westport Hotel (www.sheratonwestport.com). The property is currently testing Angie by Angie Hospitality (https://angie.ai/), a cloud-managed, intelligent digital room assistant with multi-lingual voice and high-resolution touchscreen interfaces.

Angie provides guests with access to hotel amenities and services such as in-room dining. Additionally, it enables them to control the room TV, lighting and temperature; listen to music through Bluetooth speakers; and make hands-free telephone calls. Lighting and temperature settings are remembered for future visits.

Bringing the smart home concept into the hotel room will require integration and connectivity. For Gustaaf Schrils, CIO, White Lodging (www.whitelodging.com) he sees the real power of AI in the combination of various pieces to create a truly powerful impactful innovation. One example would be fully automating the check-in/out process, including room selection, with biometrics (facial recognition), artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain.

If you combine machine learning, artificial intelligence, motion sensors, beacons and robotics together with a vacuum cleaner you can have an intelligent vacuum cleaner that can automate the carpet cleaning in the entire hotel,” he says. “With voice recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence and an Echo you can have a successful automated concierge and even a PBX for calls, wakeup alarms and service requests.”