Travelers checking in at select Marriott hotels are in for a treat. Amazon has partnered with Marriott International to let Alexa serve its customers.
Alexa can be accessed through an Amazon Echo smart speaker that will be installed in a number of rooms. Guests can conveniently call Alexa to do chores for them like a personal butler would.
Alexa's features include turning on lights, asking for hotel information, calling the hotel's front desk, searching for music and movies, notifying housekeeping, setting alarms, and many more.
Hotel guests won't need an Amazon account to avail Alexa's services. However, the company plans to let guests sign in using their accounts to have access to their audiobooks and playlists in the future.
Amazon sold over a million Echo devices and regards it as the company's best-selling product among Prime members. The Marriott-Amazon partnership is part of a strategy to encourage more people to purchase the Echo device.
About Alexa For Hospitality
The technology is set to find its home in selected world-class Marriott hotels this summer which include Westin Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, and Autograph Collection Hotels.
Alexa will also be available at Mariott's boutique properties which include Thompson Hotels, Destination Hotels, Joie de Vivre, and Alila, as well as vacation rental properties from RedAwning.
In a statement, Vice President of Customer Experience Innovation at Marriott International Jennifer Hsieh said that many of their guests already use voice technology in their homes and the hotel wanted to extend the same convenience to their travel experience.
Marriot International did not make a comment on the issue but said that the hotel has superb relationships with many technology companies and is open to the opportunities that would make their guest experience better.
Although many guests might feel uncomfortable with the device, they can choose to unplug it. The gadget has also been the topic of controversies regarding privacy concerns in recent years.
A female Amazon Echo user from Oregon was shocked when the device recorded a private conversation with her husband without any of them knowing. The device allegedly sent the audio recording to one of her husband's employees in Seattle.
Amazon has addressed the issue on the Alexa For Hospitality FAQs saying it is impossible for other properties to listen to what the owner says to Alexa or what she said back. Furthermore, Amazon encodes all data in transit between the device and the user's servers, and all data belonging to the customer is securely stored on Amazon AWS servers.