The next time you check into a Marriott hotel in the US, Amazon’s Alexa might be there to help you dial room service
The Marriott hotel chain is to install Amazon’s voice-controlled Alexa service via the Echo devices in some of its US hotel suites following a deal with the e-commerce giant.
The gadgets are to provide facilities such as ordering room service, requesting housekeeping or calling the concierge for local recommendations without picking up the phone.
The rollout is to begin this summer at select locations.
According to several reports, Marriott considered both Alexa and Apple’s Siri.
Mariott told the Financial Times the deal was not exclusive and that the deal did not represent “a direct comparison with Siri”, since the company worked with a number of partners to test emerging technologies.
In a statement, Marriott said it has “great relationships with a number of technology companies and is always open to exploring opportunities to innovate and better the guest experience.”
The deal is a way of giving Echo more exposure to users, which could mean more e-commerce income for Amazon. Owners of Echo devices spend more per year on the Amazon shopping service than even Amazon Prime members, at an average of $1,700 (£1,291) compared to $1,300, according to Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.
Other hotel chains that have deployed Echo include Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, which installed it in about 5,000 suites in 2016.
In 2016 Marriott-owned Aloft Hotels introduced a Siri-powered voice-activated service.
IBM earlier this year moved to one-up both Apple and Amazon with a Watson-powered service, which hotels and other businesses could deploy under their own brand.
The service is being offered to other businesses as well, such as rental car companies, all of which would be connected to the IBM Cloud.
The business model means Watson can learn users’ preferences and share that information with other Watson-powered assistants via the IBM Cloud, if users choose to allow it to do so.
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