Amazon Upgrades Alexa for Hospitality to Expand and Scale Services
Amazon has augmented the Alexa for Hospitality platform to entice hotels, shared living communities, and other organizations interested in bringing the voice assistant into their properties. The improvements are designed to make adding and expanding Alexa for Hospitality faster and more convenient to install and incorporate a custom version of the system.
Simplifying the creation and installation of a voice assistant in hospitality is a central goal for Amazon at this point. The new version of the Alexa Management Console is designed around that goal, with little or no coding expertise necessary to implement voice experiences. Even a lot of devices can be managed and adjusted with some straightforward clicks rather than hard-cording. The same goes with harvesting and looking at the analytics, measuring the use and results of the voice practices.
And to encourage hospitality-related companies to invest in making Alexa part of their network, the company released new Alexa Management APIs. They can be used to manage a lot of Echo smart speakers and other devices, and thousands can be added to the list rapidly. The specific features and access provided to users can be set, tested, and released as needed, and all of it customized to suit the needs of the property and its users.
“We built Alexa for Hospitality to allow you to deploy and manage Alexa-enabled devices and experiences at scale with Frustration-Free Setup and Alexa Management APIs,” Alexa smart properties head of marketing Bobby Agarwal explained in a blog post. “Through Alexa Management APIs, you can assign devices to properties, configure them, enable Alexa skills, create a customized guest experience via custom skills, and more. We consider Alexa Management APIs as the building blocks for developers to build ambient computing experiences.”
Amazon has also upped the visual experience when Alexa for Hospitality is applied to Echo Show smart displays and other screens with the voice assistant. The clients can create and customize the notifications and messages displayed on the screen as either permanent notes until dismissed by the user or as rotating cards that cycle on the screen with weather and other general information. The clients can publish and adjust both kinds of cards to showcase info about the room, upcoming events, or anything else that might be relevant and of interest to the people staying there or even just touring a potential spot. The screen can replace paper collections and be kept current for things like happy hour specials at a hotel bar.
“Alexa has provided powerful tools to customize screen enabled devices,” Alexa for Hospitality solution provider Aiva CEO Sumeet Bhatia said in a statement. “These tools not only improve engagement but they increase accessibility for more users. We are excited to extend these capabilities to Aiva’s client base, helping organizations deploy and manage their fleets of Alexa devices and create delightful voice experiences.”
Alexa for Hospitality has been working to boost its presence in the hotel and managed home space. The voice assistant recently became part of the Legoland experience in both Florida and New York, offering adventures and customized experiences to kids staying in the hotel. And the list of clients has been rising since the service debuted almost. In 2019, Westin Buffalo became the first hotel where guests could connect their personal Amazon accounts to the Echo devices in each of its rooms. While Amazon worked with Net Tech Inc. to deploy Alexa at Legoland, the Westin was a partnership with hospitality tech firm Volara. Volara works with both Alexa and Google Assistant has been rapidly signing up hotels and partnering with other tech companies to enhance its services even during the pandemic. The growth in voice hospitality is likely to pick up as people start traveling again when they are vaccinated.