Both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistants are being put through their paces by Marriott International, who hope to use one of the AI platforms to control devices in its hotel rooms.
The Aloft Hotel, owned by Marriott, is using both the Amazon Echo as well as a collection of iOS devices in order to gain information on which AI voice assistant will better serve hotel guests, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
While Marriott has not yet divulged information on which voice assistant it has chosen, the company did say that it expects to decide if it will expand the test to more chains besides Aloft Hotels “as early as mid-year.”
Marriott expects to decide whether to adopt the technology for one or more of its chains as early as mid-year, potentially boosting sales for the device of choice. More important, it will increase the winning company’s exposure in the market for voice-activated devices, which are gaining more mainstream traction.
“Those two players are in the game right now,” said Toni Stoeckl, who oversees the Aloft, Element, AC and Moxy chains as global brand leader for lifestyle brands at Marriott. There are almost 130 Aloft hotels in the U.S., and more than 100 additional ones planned.
The decision is certainly an important one for both Apple or Amazon. Marriott International is the world’s largest hotel chain, and the ability to control lighting, heating, cooling and entertainment systems by voice could well influence the product choice of guests when it comes to adopting smart home technology in their own homes.
Wynn Resorts has already made a decision regarding AI voice assistants in its hotel rooms: the company opted for Alexa-powered devices.