HITEC 2020 NEWS: Alexa for Hospitality Announces New Updates

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HITEC 2020 NEWS: Alexa for Hospitality Announces New Updates

10/28/2020

At HITEC 2020, Alexa for Hospitality announced an update, including new developer tools, support for more Alexa features, and support for more Echo devices, which enables solution providers and properties to integrate Alexa’s AI into valuable end-to-end experiences at scale. Alexa for Hospitality enables hotels, vacation rentals and senior living facilities to offer voice-based integration with existing amenities, and simplifies tasks for their residents and guests like playing music, ordering room service, finding restaurants, and checking out. With this update, solution providers can grow their business exponentially by automating setup and management of Alexa on a large number of devices and offering a wider variety of features and devices to their customers. Some of our early adopters - LG, Volara, K4Connect and Aiva - share their experience in this post.

What’s New

With this launch, solution providers and property managers have a wider range of Echo devices to choose from, both in terms of functionality and price points. This includes entry-level devices (Echo Dot), high-end devices (Echo Plus which includes Smart Hub for managing connected devices) and coming soon, support for devices with screens (Echo Show). Additionally, providers can now offer even more Alexa features like dynamic language switching, proactive weather alerts, brief mode, whisper mode, and wellness tips. Dynamic language switching enables guests, residents and staff in the US to converse with Alexa in English or Spanish and Alexa will respond in that language without having to change the language setting.

Our new suite of Alexa Management APIs enables solution providers to programmatically setup, customize and manage thousands of Alexa devices and experiences. This makes it easy to integrate Alexa into existing on-site tools like Ticketing Management, Property Management and Customer Management systems. With Frustration Free Setup, providers can setup of thousands of Alexa devices in minutes. Solution providers can offer property managers web and mobile applications to easily manage devices so that they can update settings like language, volume, and enable calling, skills and property notifications. Properties can also build custom skills so Alexa can provide property-specific information (what is the WiFi password), log a service request (make dinner reservations), or check out. Property managers can send custom notifications and announcements instantly to provide guests and residents with reminders about an upcoming event on the property. This update enables property managers to offer customized experiences to specific guests or residents as desired, and tailor the experience based on their loyalty status, time of stay or type of room.

What Our Early Adopters Say

Chris Barton, national account manager at LG Business Solutions US, a major solutions provider to the US hospitality market, says, “We are delighted to be an early adopter of Alexa’s new management APIs enabling our development team to rapidly add a set of configuration and management tools into our overall voice solution, which combines the power of LG’s Pro:Centric Direct system and Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality to provide an enhanced guest experience in hotel rooms. With our product, hotel guests can use voice to display the room service menu on TV screens, control the room temperature, call the front desk, or reserve a spa appointment. These new management tools simplify the volume deployment process of our LG Pro:Centric systems in hotels and over the coming months we will be ready to rapidly scale-up their deployment.”

Dave Berger, CEO of hospitality technology integrator Volara, says, “Every year, when Amazon announced new Echo devices, I would get hundreds of emails from prospective clients asking for the new Echo Show. Soon, I can help such properties so they can use the Alexa device screens to show property information, room service menus and property amenities using their skillsGuests and staff are going to love that they can converse with Alexa in English and Spanish using the dynamic language switching feature. We have been eager to satisfy our customers' excitement for Alexa, and these new features will lead to more loyal guests.”

Scott Moody, CEO and co-founder of senior living technology company K4Connect, says, “Our residents have found Alexa to be a welcome and valued companion. Alexa helps them stay better connected, informed and engaged with their community, and can even alert staff via our custom skill when they need assistance. With this new update from Alexa for Hospitality, we can now offer simpler, more intuitive tooling for senior living community teams to manage the Alexa experience for their residents. Throughout this process, we have also significantly reduced time-to-setup allowing us to get more communities launched faster, and at a time when they need these resources most.”

Sumeet Bhatia, founder and CEO of senior living technology provider Aiva Inc., says, “We provide hands-free communications and control to residents and their caregivers, connecting Echo devices with our proprietary mobile platform. Residents use their voice to send requests, make & receive phone calls, access menus and activities and control devices like lights and TVs. All of that becomes easier with this new update from Alexa for Hospitality, and it extends Aiva’s capabilities across a wider range of Echo devices. Especially during the pandemic, hands-free calling in particular helps seniors relieve isolation and stay healthy. We are excited to leverage the new Alexa for Hospitality APIs to help create a true enterprise voice service experience for our residents.”

Get Started with the New and Improved Alexa for Hospitality

Visit https://www.amazon.com/alexahospitality to learn more about Alexa for Hospitality and the integrators working with us. Visit Alexa for Hospitality API documentation to read more about the management APIs and start building. Contact us to onboard to Alexa for Hospitality. We can’t wait to see what you build.