Alexa in hotel rooms has come alive in the Charlotte Marriott City Centre in North Carolina. And the Marriott Irvine Spectrum in Los Angeles will have the voice assistant at the end of the month.
Amazon debuted Alexa for Hospitality in June with hotel brand Marriott as the launch partner.
With the Echo devices in hotel rooms, guests can ask Alexa to control room temperature, lighting and the TV, and to play music, set the alarm, ask for weather updates, order room service and housekeeping, call reception and check out.
It isn’t Marriott’s first time to use voice assistant. Back in the fall of 2017, the company announced a joint venture with Chinese Internet giant Alibaba to bring its smart speaker Tmall Genie into 100,000 Marriott hotel rooms in China.
Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas installed Echo speakers in about 5,000 hotel suites in 2016. The service was built upon Alexa for Business, a back-end platform that allows hotel IT personnel to manage and monitor each Echo device and create voice skills tailored to the company’s needs.
At the launch of Alexa for Hospitality, Amazon claimed that it won’t share any voice data from guests with hotels, and will delete conversation recordings daily. The Echo speakers in hotels only work with hotels’ Wi-Fi and the hotels will be notified if they are unplugged.
Amazon will also allow hotel guests to temporarily log into their Amazon accounts with Echo devices in hotel rooms, so they may access their Amazon Music, Spotify and Pandora services. When the guests check out, Amazon will automatically log out of their accounts.
If hotel guests are worried about having an always-on listening device sitting in the room, they can just mute or unplug it.
“Given that the average hotel room has a couple of light switches and a TV remote, it is unclear what the real value proposition here is, other than the marketing hype of saying you’re integrating the technology,” said Seth Miller, a travel consultant and journalist, to Business Traveller.
Marriott didn’t promise to bring Alexa to all hotel locations. The launch will be part of the hotel giant’s experiment.