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The hotel industry is embracing the latest advances in smart home devices and the Internet of Objects in offering new, ultra-smart and customised rooms to meet the requirements of their guests.

 

Alexa, Google Home and Siri – the AI voice assistants respectively developed by Amazon, Google and Apple – are set to become the butlers of the future. Capable of performing remote tasks such as adjusting the temperature of a room and opening curtains, checking the weather forecast and even checking your emails to remind you or your engagements, they can meet virtually every need.

Aware of its potential, the Wynn Las Vegas installed Alexa in its 4,748 rooms in the summer of 2017, allowing the resort’s guests to switch on the lights without getting up and to verbally control the lighting and temperature of their rooms.

 

Virtual concierges

 

Other hotels are set to follow suit, as reported by the website Voyage-d’affaires. The startup Volara, which specialises in communication platforms for hotel voice assistants, is already working with leading US hotels such as the Kimpton Alexis Hotel in Seattle and theWit in Chicago, a DoubleTree by Hilton hotel.

Voice assistants can save guests the bother of having to call reception for recommendations on where to eat out, the WiFi password, and check-out times. It is a solution that has been successfully deployed for more than a year now by the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort, where guests call on it more than room service.

 

The hotel world and IoT

 

As well as improving the user experience, voice assistants also provide hotels with an opportunity to increase their additional sales, making the most of exchanges with guests to mention special offers to them and tell them what’s on the menu in the hotel restaurant.

With the Internet of Objects growing fast, the world’s major hotel groups are determined to tap into it. Their R&D teams are currently exploring the numerous possibilities offered by this new field. The Marriott Group, for example, set up what it has called the IoT Guestroom Lab last November, in association with connected device specialists Samsung and home device experts Legrand.

 

An ultra-customised guest experience

 

The ultra-connected hotel room of the future, which can adapt to the personal preferences of each guest, could offer yoga classes with a virtual coach on a smart mirror and set the ideal water temperature for your shower, as Gretchen Hartley, Senior Director, Global Design Strategies at Marriott International, explained.

Unveiled last December, the Hilton Group’s Connected Room would take the customisation concept one step further by offering guests room décor featuring their favourite artworks or holiday photos, thanks to high-tech digital frames designed by Meural, the digital art specialists. The room, in which guests can use their smartphones as remote controls, should be rolled out in the USA this year. Other innovative functions will be available to members of the hotel group’s loyalty programme, through the Hilton Honors app.

 

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