Amazon is taking its AI-based and Alexa-enabled Echo speakers beyond the home segment and has added Alexa for Hospitality. The company demonstrated how the Alexa speakers can handle different services for guests at hotels, from switching on and off lights and letting them know if the pool is open so that the guest can take a swim and so on.
Many of the actions the Echo speaker is capable of performing inside the home environment can be done in the hotel room as well. In addition, there are tasks like finding restaurants in the hotel and nearby and place orders for stuffs can also be done.
Amazon has entered into an arrangement with the Marriot International group of hotels and one can find the Echo speakers in action in some limited Marriot properties in the US right now. Only 10 such properties have been chosen in the first round, possibly as a pilot run and can get expanded based on the feedback the hotel chain received from its units.
Amazon has already launched a few tweaks to the basic Echo home speaker with the Echo Dot Kids Edition and another one meant for cars and so on. And now it is Alexa for Hospitality. It is expected that there may be more such segment-specific devices launched in future. The next one could be Alexa for Business.
However, at a broad level, the challenges remain. Not all people are enamored by these devices and gadgets. They expect a human touch everywhere and for personal reasons or due to privacy concerns, they avoid such products. Hotels having Echo speakers may offer a choice to their guests to use them or keep them muted or switched off. But for those in love with the Echo speakers, the day is not far off when they can link their home speaker Amazon account with their hotel room and listen to their favorite music in the room and even check out directly asking Alexa to settle the bill through the registered account.
After the checkout, the hotelâ€™s ecosystem will disconnect the guestâ€™s account and arrange to delete all data collected by the end of the day. Again, these are all work in progress and only after Amazon is sure that the customersâ€™ personal data will be safe in the hands of third parties will they give a go ahead.