Finding the light switch in hotels rooms may become a bit less aggravating.
Amazon announced Tuesday it is rolling out a version of its voice-operated assistant Alexa for the hospitality industry in a push to boost market share.
Amazon has already signed up Marriott International, vacation rental company RedAwning and boutique lifestyle operator Two Roads Hospitality, the technology and e-commerce giant said in a statement.
Marriott will install Alexa for Hospitality this summer at select properties, including Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts and St. Regis Hotels and Resorts. Alexa is installed in devices including Echo and Echo Dot.
Hotels will be able to customize Alexa for their specific properties and use the data it generates to improve customer interaction. Guests will be able to use Alexa for Hospitality to request room service, check pool and restaurant hours as well as control room features like temperature and lighting.
Guests who use Alexa at home will eventually be able to connect their account to the Alexa-enabled device in their hotel room, Amazon said in the press release.
Hotels will eventually want Alexa not just to react to customer requests, but to make suggestions, such as upgrading seats at a concert or booking a dinner table, said Mehmet Erdem, a UNLV hospitality professor.
“This is just the first phase of this AI development,” said Erdem. “Next it will engage you. It will know what recommendations you are likely to respond to.”
Hotel operators should be prepared to deal with blacklash from guests concerned about privacy, the professor said.
“There has to be an educational effort so that guests don’t feel their privacy is being infringed upon,” he said.
Amazon began testing Alexa for the hospitality industry in December of 2016, choosing Wynn Resorts as one of its first partners. Amazon has since added Alexa to a few other properties as it refined the product.
Starting Tuesday, Hospitality operators can sign up to have Alexa for Hospitality installed in their properties. Caesars Entertainment Corp. executives could not immediately comment about their plans to introduce Alexa for Hospitality. MGM Resorts International didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Robotics and artificial intelligence have been upending many industries in recent years, including the hospitality sector.
Las Vegas operators have been introducing new technology in an effort to improve customer experience such as chatbots that function like a virtual concierge, robots to pour drinks and deliver food, and mobile applications that enable guests to enter a room with their phone.
The technology breakthroughs have hospitality workers worried about their livelihood.
Unions representing Las Vegas hospitality workers demanded that companies include language in their new five-year contract protecting employees from job loss.
According to the new contracts MGM and Caesars have to give notice to the unions if a new technology is going to impact jobs as well as take steps to retain and retrain employees, Culinary Local 226 spokeswoman Bethany Khan said.