Amazon has introduced a new platform called Alexa for Hospitality, paving the way for the voice assistant to enter hotel rooms.
This version of Alexa will be tailored for hotels’ needs. Echo devices will be placed in rooms so guests can call the front desk, check when the hotel’s pool is open, and get nearby restaurant recommendations.
Every hotel can customize its Alexa features and responses based on their locations, says Amazon. Moreover, Amazon has developed a new back-end system, allowing hotels to manage every unit of their Echo devices.
The voice control feature for hotels sounds trendy. However, guest privacy is a concern as well, since Alexa recently recorded a user’s conversation and sent it to others accidentally.
According to Amazon, it won’t share any voice data from guests with hotels, and will delete conversational recordings daily. Echo speakers in a hotel will only work with the hotel’s Wi-Fi and the hotel will be notified if a speaker is unplugged.
Even though Echo is an always-listening device, the smart speaker will be muted anytime new guests arrive. If they don’t want to use the device, they can simply leave them muted or unplug them.
Amazon will also allow hotel guests to temporarily log into their Amazon accounts so that they may use Echo devices in hotel rooms to access their Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora services. When guests check out, they will be logged out of their Amazon accounts automatically.
Alexa for Hospitality is designed for hotels. However, it’s currently limited to invited hotels only. Marriott International, a global hotel chain, will be Amazon’s first partner to integrate Alexa for Hospitality into its system. The hotel chain said 10 of its U.S. locations, including Charlotte Marriott City Center in North Carolina and Marriott Irvine Spectrum in California, will get the Alexa capability.
Wynn Las Vegas installed Echo speakers in hotel rooms at the end of 2016, while the Alexa for Hospitality platform was not available. Amazon said Wynn Las Vegas will switch over to the new platform eventually.