Best Western Testing Voice Devices In Rooms

Best Western Hotels & Resorts plans to put artificial intelligence powered smart-speakers in its guest rooms, following in the footsteps of hotel companies Marriott International Inc. (MAR) and Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN), travel publication Skift reported.

Best Western has launched a pilot program of deploying Amazon Dot devices in a few of its hotels. It is working with Runtiz to develop and deploy a pilot that will initially be tested in about a dozen properties.

“The Amazon Alexa, to me, is the future. Right now, people are into messaging, but in the future, it’s going to be artificial intelligence and voice activation,” Best Western Hotels & Resorts CEO David Kong told Skift.

Amazon’s artificially intelligent, voice-activated assistant Alexa runs in the cloud.

Kong noted that with with Amazon Dot, a guest can not only leave a wake-up call, have it play music or tell the time, but it can also be used to communicate with the hotel. This could include ordering room service or reporting issues with the room.

The in-room Dot can also be beneficial for housekeeping staff as Dot can be used to report if a room has been cleaned or for reporting maintenance needs that require attention.

Skift reported that Best Western began the pilot development program two months ago and it has also been piloting a new messaging platform for guests to use to communicate with hotel staff.

In December 2016, Wynn Resorts said it will equip its more than 4,700 hotel rooms at its Las Vegas hotel with Echo, Amazon’s hands-free voice-controlled speaker.

The resort is the first in the world to enable guests to control various hotel room features with a series of voice commands via Alexa, the brain behind Echo.

Marriott is reportedly testing iPads running Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo at its Aloft hotel in Boston. Both these technologies are based on artificial intelligence that responds to voice commands.

by RTT Staff Writer

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