Amazon’s Alexa will now butler at Marriott hotels
The program offers the potential for better customer experiences, but privacy concerns could slow deployment.
Amazon has announced a deal with Marriott hotels to put Echo devices in rooms to act as a “virtual concierge.” Marriott had been testing the new service, called “Alexa for Hospitality,” which enables hotel customers to order room service, contact housekeeping for additional towels, check out or talk to the concierge — essentially replacing the in-room telephone.
(Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc said on Tuesday that it has partnered with Marriott International Inc to help increase guest access to amenities with Alexa, through its voice-controlled device Echo, in an attempt to expand its presence in the hospitality industry.
Alexa for hospitality would assist in providing services ranging from ordering room service to requesting housekeeping or calling the concierge for dinner recommendations without picking up the phone.
The company said the partnership will start this summer at Marriott’s select properties and the service will be available by invitation to other hotel chains.
Several media reports had said that Marriott had tested both Apple Inc’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa to select what was best suited for its hotels.
On whether Alexa was chosen over Siri, Marriott said “this was not a direct comparison with Siri. We work with a number of partners in order to test emerging technology so we can learn and leverage what we believe will enhance the guest experience.”
Amazon has never disclosed the exact sales figure for its Echo devices. However, the company in January said it sold “millions” of Amazon devices and that the Echo Dot device was the best-selling product among Prime members.
The company’s move to tie-up with hotels is another strategy to woo more users for its Echo devices.Amazon Echo owners spend an average of $1,700 a year on Amazon, more than the $1,300 Amazon Prime members are estimated to be spending a year on the e-commerce site, CNBC reported earlier this year, citing a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Reporting by Vibhuti Sharma and Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber
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