Personal digital assistants are the future — at least that’s what Marriott is betting on. The hotel chain will be testing Alexa and Siri at their Boston-based Aloft hotel. Marriott isn’t the first to bet on digital assistants as The Wynn in Las Vegas has also begun equipping their 4,748 rooms with Amazon Echo device. In the case of Marriot, they will be deploying both iPads and Alexa device’s testing which works best for them. The assistants would control room lighting, room temperature and act as a control for any media devices in the room.
“This is about what next-generation travelers might want and how they would use their own devices at home and how that would translate to their travel experience,” Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Lifestyle Brands at Marriott International, told Fox News in a phone interview.
Marriott says they are in the process of collecting feedback from their customers on the program. The program may live or die depending on this feedback and it could be a few months before they make a final decision.
“As home automation becomes more mainstream, people will begin to expect those same comforts when they travel,” John Clancy, VP of Residential Systems at Crestron, a company that builds home and building automation systems, told Fox News in an email. “At the same time, hotels can leverage this type of innovation to gain a competitive advantage, and technology companies get a new marketing stage. It’s a win for everyone involved,” according to Clancy, who was quoted in the Bloomberg report.
As Justin Jelinek reported in our Las Vegas Wynn article, Alexa does have an always-listening feature that could make some people uncomfortable.
These features sound great, though some may prefer not to be recorded while on their Las Vegas getaway. Alexa does record and send requests to Amazon’s AWS Cloud Services for processing, and it is always listening to hear its “Alexa” keyword for activation.
It will be interesting to see how hotel chains like Wynn and Marriott, balance the future of voice assistants and user privacy. What do you think of Marriott’s testing of Alexa and Siri in hotel rooms? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.Source: FoxTech