UK-based InterContinental have finally rolled out the smart, “AI hotel rooms” they partnered with Baidu to develop. The project had been announced in November of last year at the annual Baidu World Conference and promised to utilize Baidu’s latest smart home assistant, dubbed Raven H. The InterContinental AI hotel rooms have been outfitted at the hotel group’s Sanlitun, Beijing location and there are plans to roll the technology out for 100 suites across China.
InterContinental and Baidu plan on implementing the smart room technology to 100 suites across China
No details were given about the possibility for roll out at locations outside of China, and the partnership with Baidu implies a singular focus on the China market, at least for the time being.
With the technology, guests at the hotel can make basic voice queries of the AI system about subjects such as travel times and services available at the hotel. Guests can even order room service via the platform and lower the room’s temperature, control the lights, and draw the curtains.
InterContinental Great China Vice President, Lin Wang, is hoping that the AI technology at the hotel will prove popular among millennials and drive demand for high-end accommodation in this valuable market segment.
The tech isn’t just about giving guests a more interactive experience, it’s also about collecting the data to make future stays even more customized
However, such AI driven projects also have the capability to better gather and analyze data and utilize it to drive consumption on the part of hotel guests. Industry analyst Liu Dingding told the Global Times that:
“For example, the moment you walk into the hotel, the AI system could know which type of room you prefer and what temperature and lighting conditions you like. It could also identify your tourist habits and recommend food to cater to your tastes,” he said.
Of course, this isn’t the only implementation of experimental consumer technology into the accommodation sector coming out of China. Last year, HNA Tourism and Tencent invested million into a robotics startup, Yunji, that is developing service and concierge robots for hotels, that would provide guests with information, deliver items to rooms, and guide guests through the hotel. Reportedly, one of the Yunji models, the Run, has already been implemented at the InterContinetal Suzhou, Sheraton Zhoushan, and the Holiday Inn Dahuahongqiao in Shanghai.