Alexa has brought artificial intelligence into the home, and now the mild-mannered digital assistant is coming to hotel rooms around the world as Amazon announces a new program called Alexa for Hospitality.
The voice assistant could now be found everywhere in travel, from chain hotels to vacation rentals. This version of Alexa will be designed specifically for vacationers and will include guest information like checkout time and room service requests, while also being able to control the room at properties with the required technology by adjusting the temperature and raising blinds.
Amazon has partnered with Marriott International for the launch, and Alexa will begin to appear in Marriott hotels this summer. “So many of our guests use voice technology in their home, and we want to extend that convenience to their travel experience,” Jennifer Hsieh, vice-president of customer experience innovation at Marriott International, said in a statement. “Guests of Charlotte Marriott City Center and Marriott Irvine Spectrum will be among the first to experience a curated list of Alexa for Hospitality features. We will be evaluating guest feedback and adoption to inform how we expand the skills, features, and functionality offered through Alexa in our hotels.”
Hotels will also be given the opportunity to allow guests to personalize the way they use Alexa. Amazon customers can temporarily connect their Amazon account to the Alexa device so they can play their own music from the likes of Spotify, Pandora, and Amazon Music, and when guests check out their account is automatically disconnected from the hotel device.
Alexa’s move into the hotel room comes at a time of increased automation in the hospitality industry, where more jobs are at risk of being lost to robots. In June the largest workers union for the hospitality sector in Las Vegas threatened to strike over multiple issues, including robots taking their jobs. The contracts of workers in some of Nevada’s largest hospitality companies, including around 38,000 bartenders, cocktail servers, cooks, and other staff, were due to expire and negotiations for a new contract were threatened by differences over job security issues posed by automation.