Apple and Amazon Look to Hotel Chains as New Frontier for Voice Assistants


Wynn hotel room with an Amazon Echo.

A recent article from Bloomberg reports that Marriot International is testing voice-assistant devices from both Apple and Amazon for its hotel chains. The experiment is being conducted at one of its Aloft hotel locations in Boston to determine which guests prefer to turn on lights, close drapes, adjust the room temperature and change television channels. Marriot expects to have made its decision by mid-year. Amazon already has a head-start in this area. Wynn Resorts announced back in December that it will have an Amazon Echo in every Las Vegas hotel room by this summer.

A Hotel Room as a Show Room

In addition to boosting overall sales of these devices, hotel installations also present an opportunity for Amazon and Apple to reach new consumers who may not be familiar with voice assistant devices. Having access to Alexa or Siri during a hotel stay can demonstrate to guests the value of having a smart speaker device to make their lives a little easier.

But for consumers using these devices at home, the interaction is personalized to them and their account. The question remains whether hotels will allow guests to log-in to their personal account or if there will just be a standard list of skills appropriate for a hotel stay. There is also the challenge of educating guests on how to use the new technology. “It will be interesting to see how much education they have to go through to get guests to use them. This is not mass-market technology,” said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies Inc.