It's tough to call it a smart assistant war anymore, or if you really insist, we are at a temporary ceasefire. The troubled blunder years of the two main stallions in Google Home and Amazon Alexa are well behind them. They are seemingly finding their own path and coming up with some pretty unique solutions including Alexa for Hospitality.
It's no secret that Alexa has way run away with the number of skills it has - just a hair over 30,000 as of last month - and they are typically the most popular name associated with the digital voice revolution. So the idea to introduce Alexa into the hospitality sector actually makes a lot of sense.
Firstly, its a trojan horse to the connected home ecosystem - a point of high importance when looking at consumer adoption. Many consumers simply don't understand the depth of voice control and giving them an effortless excuse to use one on vacation may be the big push they need. You can see this case study with phones and even laptops that are looking to push a multitude of voice assistants. That slippery slope will hopefully build a use case for Bixby, Alexa, Siri, or Google to control the rest of the products in a home.
The second main point is it turns the hotel into an experience center. If you have been keeping up with any of the biggest narratives, experience centers are the future of retail and it is consistently shaping the landscape around us. What better way to let a consumer understand how they can turn off lights, open shades, or order room service than grassroots education in a high-end hotel. They even want to make new commands that can ready Audible books and open unique products offered only at the hotel using an existing Amazon account.
To top it all off, this is exactly what smart speaker manufacturers are looking for when building use cases for their products. The two main rooms that they see listed from a consumer are bedrooms and bathrooms - the essentials of a hotel room.
Amazon has currently teamed up with a handful of hotels and hopes to roll out the program this summer at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels and Autograph Collection Hotels.