Over the last couple years, multiple changes within the technology space (most notably – artificial intelligence in hospitality) have brought forward a paradigm shift and disrupted a myriad of industries, leaving some players behind while simultaneously adding more value for the end users. The adoption of new emerging technologies has gone on to become quite the trend after receiving inspiration from successful use cases. In case of hotels, the real boost of artificial intelligence in hospitality sprung from the fact that it has the power to impact and transform the industry completely. Given the rising need for smart automation of existing processes, AI has entered the traditional hospitality landscape with a promise to enhance hotel reputation, drive revenue and take customer experience to the next level. Like many industrial systems, the world of hotels revolves around a handful of solutions all driven by intelligent chatbots and voice-enabled services.
In the 21st century, industries that remain adamant to integrating new technological revolutions are most likely to regress in their course of development. Businesses across the globe have realized how important it is to include contemporary digital technology to drive constant growth and revenue. The last decade has seen incredible innovations and breakthroughs in the landscape of digital solutions. One of such compelling technologies is called Artificial Intelligence (AI). Often misconceived as a replacement for human power, the concept of AI as a technological aid is much larger, wider and pervasive.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer becoming a part of our everyday lives, it already is. More consumers than not are living in smart homes and working in smart offices. The number of users of smart speakers like Amazon's Echo and Google Home is growing at a compound annual rate of 47.9 percent and between 2016 and 2020 is expected to grow from 16 million to 76.5 million. The hospitality industry is rapidly identifying ways to put AI into widespread use. With large sets of data becoming more prevalent and AI becoming more accessible, hotel marketers have the potential to transform how they operate to maximize returns, optimize processes and interact with guests for increased satisfaction and loyalty.
Google's aptly named AI helper, Google Assistant, is poised to have a great year in 2019. Not only will the digital assistant be spreading to numerous devices old and new, but there are a host of new features coming, too, several of which were shown off at CES 2019 last week. This list of upcoming Google Assistant updates is long, and it can be overwhelming trying to parse out all the different announcements and keep track of when these new features will finally be available. To help, we've curated a rundown detailing the best and most important updates coming for Google Assistant in the next few months, including what devices these new features have been announced for, their expected release dates, and how to enable them (when available). By far, the most hyped new Assistant feature at CES was the Interpreter Mode.
Even without a booth, Apple is looming large over CES. In a giant billboard that went up on the side of the Springhill Suites Marriott hotel near the Vegas strip late last week, Apple is touting the privacy features baked into the iPhone, telling people, "What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone." It's a clever and effective ad that plays off the classic Vegas slogan. In an age of regular data breaches and scary hacks, privacy and security have become a really big deal. Apple has made privacy a major component of its iPhone sales pitch for years, so while the ad might not mention Google, Samsung, or Amazon, it's clearly aimed at trolling Apple's biggest rivals and their somewhat laissez-faire approach to privacy.
As a CIO, regardless of the industry you are in, you share common opportunities and potential for advancements with other CIOs when it comes to technology. These might include theft of materials, physical security of staff and customers, doing more with fewer employees and contributing to the profitability of your company. In this column, we are going to examine some hospitality technology experiments with emphasis in the casino area. The first one is biometrics, the technical term for body measurements and calculations. It has long been used as a form of identification and access control.
Amazon has announced a new program designed to help hotels deploy Alexa's voice-enabled smarts across their properties. Though Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo speakers are growing in popularity across the domestic realm -- helping users control their doors, lights, and search the web using nothing but their voice -- the internet giant has been targeting the hospitality sector for a while already. High-end hotel firm Wynn Resorts has been placing thousands of Amazon Echo speakers in its hotels since last summer, for example. And as of April, Alexa has been able to make phone calls in hotel rooms. Put simply, Amazon recognizes that hotels are a perfect showcase for its automated AI technologies.
Amazon's Alexa has infiltrated our homes, offices, bathrooms, and cars. It was only a matter of time before it expanded to other places we spend time, too--like our hotel rooms. While some enterprising chains and establishments had begun introducing Echos and Echo Dots into their guest quarters, Amazon on Tuesday announced Alexa for Hospitality, a hotel-specific version of its assistant software. The announcement included a partnership with Marriott Hotels, where Alexa for Hospitality will debut at select Marriott, Aloft, Westin, Autograph Collection, and St. Regis hotels and resorts this summer. It'll come to other hotels and vacation rental facilities on an invite-only basis.
We've got some simple tips you can take to keep Amazon's Alexa from eavesdropping into your conversations and potentially sharing them. The new Amazon Echo is on display on Sept. 27, 2017, in Seattle. Beginning this summer, Amazon will make a new version of the Echo available to some Marriott International hotels. SAN FRANCISCO -- Alexa, what time is checkout? This summer, guests staying in some Marriott International hotel rooms will have access to a new virtual concierge.