Amazon and Apple are competing to be at your beck and call during your next hotel stay. With both companies offering voice-powered devices meant to enhance the guest experience, guests can now look forward to having a virtual live-in butler 24-hours a day. Amazon’s Alexa powered Echo device and Apple’s Siri voice application are not new to consumers but are gaining popularity in the hospitality industry. But who will come out on top?
In December of 2016, Amazon decided to provide over 4,700 hotel rooms at Wynn Resorts Ltd with the Echo device. Guests had the ability to open curtains, turn the lights and television on and off, adjust the temperature and receive information about the weather or current news events simply by using their voice to call out to “Alexa”. Yes, all of this could be done without lifting a finger. 30 other hotels across the U.S. will also be testing out the Echo device with their guests within the next few months.
Siri made its debut earlier in 2016 at Starwood’s tech-centric hotel brand, Aloft, where guests had the pleasure of basically having a conversation with their room. For Apple users, a conversation with Siri can be both helpful and comical. Guests were able to get recommendations of local restaurants or ask her to blast their favorite “vacay” playlist while they settled into their room and prepared to make their next move.
Hotel rooms have now become the primary means of testing other services and devices that can also be incorporated into “smart-homes” for Tech companies. The goal is convenience and being able to control different aspects of the home through a voice-powered device or even your personal smartphone. As hotel interior design is geared toward making the guest feel more at home while away, it would only make sense that these devices and apps be incorporated into a guest’s stay at their favorite hotel.
So which device/app is more preferable? It’s still too early to tell but both Siri and Alexa will be more accessible outside of the home introducing a deeper relationship between the guests and their device of choice.