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If Elon Musk Was A Hotelier
Posted: 09/25/2020

What if a person of Elon Musk’s character and bravado were to enter the hotel industry? How would they shake things up and presage the next ‘game-changers’ to propel hospitality beyond our current challenges?

Things right now are hard to predict. That is a fact. Trends lack patterns. Strategy is a 6-month viewfinder. Leaders are in a tactical storm. We feel overwhelmed by the unknown and the feeling of “what is next.” 

Over the past six months, this column has focused mostly on hospitality technologies and issues that were triggered by COVID-19. Innovation has flourished during that time, from both established industry technology providers and from startups. At last count I had identified nearly 300 startups in the space since the beginning of the year, some of them with very interesting technologies.

As outlined in our previous article, cleanliness is dominating the headlines within the hotel industry, with a number of press releases on new initiatives from all the major chains. The landscape has transformed quickly, to help keep up with the standards this article will summarise the basic principles of cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms and how that can be achieved quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Decreasing Stress
Posted: 09/14/2020

Stress does not come without your invitation. It is self-induced by our perspectives of what is occurring in our lives. We all have stress, and the less of it, the more happiness you experience. Life is about living day to day.



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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
by Fran Worrall

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.

 
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