Best Western tests voice activation technology in hotel rooms
Following in the footsteps of Marriott and Wynn Resorts, Best Western Hotels & Resorts recently told Skift that they are launching a pilot program for Amazon Dot, a voice activation customer service technology, in rooms in about a dozen hotels. They will announce the results in November at their annual convention and begin to roll out the technology to a greater number of properties.
Best Western CEO David Kong also told SKift that the voice-activated smart speakers could be of great benefit not only to guests but also to the hotel’s employees. For guests, Amazon Dot would allow them to do things like order room service, request a wake-up call, play music, report a problem, or communicate with hotel staff, all by simply speaking a command in their room.
For hotel staff, especially employees who work directly in the rooms like housekeepers or maintenance, it can be a useful safety measure as well as a new way to work.
“We hear about housekeepers being concerned about safety and therefore you need panic buttons for them and, well, the Dot is the perfect solution for that,” Kong told Skift. “They can use that to report that the room has been cleaned, or they can report that maintenance needs to pay attention to this or that in the room.”
Artificial intelligence, robotics, and voice activation technology are hot topics in the hospitality industry right now, and Kong sees real value for both guests and employees alike in these kinds of tools.
“The Amazon Alexa, to me, is the future,” he told Skift. “Right now, people are into messaging but in the future it’s going to be artificial intelligence and voice activation.”