Following earlier media reports about the Marriott International Inc. chain of hotels had been testing both Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa as a possible digital assistant for its guests, the organization has announced plans to introduce the handy little voice-assisted device from Amazon later this year at a few locations. Claiming that the choice had no direct reflection on the capabilities or lack thereof regarding the players who were part of the original selection mix, the organization said that its main aim was to “learn and leverage” what would be best suited to its customers.
In its current role, Alexa devices would assist guests to do things like contact the concierge desk for assistance such as providing dinner recommendations at the hotels available on the property, ordering room service, and even scheduling housekeeping visits at more convenient times. A picture of an Alexa device on a hotel table with small placards urging guests to ask for such rudimentary services by asking questions with the trigger “Alexa” to begin the request, so as to alert the device to its being called into use, included such commands as “Alexa, show me the front door,” and “Alexa, turn on the TV.”
This recent venture by online behemoth Amazon.com Inc. is believed to be yet another way in which it seeks to bring users into closer proximity with and thereafter, potential adoption of its Echo devices. At the moment, owners of the Amazon Echo are said to have spent about 1,700 dollars per year on shopping from the website, along with an additional 1,300 dollars being spent by Amazon Prime customers every year as well.