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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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Interactive Technologies Power Alibaba Group’s FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou-Could this ‘robotic’ property be a prototype for the future?

12/03/2018

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. Owned by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the hotel, which is currently on soft launch, is located on the company’s corporate campus in Hangzhou. The property is set to officially open later this year.

In late September, Alibaba A.I. Labs, which leads development of the company’s artificial intelligence products, announced a robot designed specifically for the hospitality sector. The tiny automatons, which stand about three feet tall and move at a speed of approximately two miles per hour, are encased in aluminum and feature multi-sensor data functionality and parallel computing. The robots come with an autonomous navigation system to recognize obstacles, a communications system to control elevators, facial recognition technology to verify identities, and semantic mapping to improve human-robot interaction.

At FlyZoo Hotel, robots are found throughout the property. Guests can ‘talk’ to the interactive assistants using voice commands, hand gestures and touch. The robots can perform a variety of tasks, from delivering laundry to closing the curtains. They increase efficiency and reduce overhead by bridging the gap between guest needs and response times and enabling the property to significantly reduce staff.

In the near future, Alibaba Group says it plans to open unmanned restaurants and libraries on its corporate campus. A.I. Labs will determine if the robots are suitable for other scenarios, such as hospitals and offices, after testing them in the hotel sector.

According to research firm Global Market Insights, the demand for service robots is on the rise, primarily due to advances in artificial intelligence, cloud technology, machine learning and the Internet of Things. These technologies not only enhance efficiency but also enable decision-making in real time.

Likewise, the International Federation of Robotics (IRF), a global industry non-profit organization, predicts a positive long-term sales forecast for service robots, with an expected growth rate of 20 percent to 25 percent within the next two years.

About The Author
Fran Worrall
Contributing Editor
Hospitality Upgrade



 
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