- Hyatt Hotels is considering joining Marriott International and other corporate hotel chains in testing personal digital assistant technology in guest rooms, as reported by Venture Beat.
- Marriott began its test in March at its Aloft hotel in Boston using both Amazon’s Alexa tech and Apple’s Siri in its rooms.
- While Hyatt is looking into the technology at the corporate level, individual franchise owners are already adopting the assistants.
Hyatt announced a partnership with Sonifi in April to provide its guests with over-the-top (OTT) streaming via services like Hulu and Netflix, but adding digital concierge service provides guests with voice control over the room’s lights, temperature, TV and opening or closing the drapes.
The hospitality market is an obvious fit for personal digital assistant devices, and a way to introduce that technology to a wider range of people. Both adoption rates for the devices and a certain level of comfort and trust in consumers will be required before the tech can be tapped as an effective marketing channel.
Some early efforts to use personal digital assistants for marketing have fallen flat, such as Burger King’s TV spot from April that hijacked Google Home devices and sparked a backlash from Home owners and raised the ire of Google. Marketers looking to access new markets via personal digital assistants should heed the cautionary tale and proceed with caution when considering how to market to personal digital assistant users. Value-add services may be the safest route, but such pilots bear watching as consumers become accustomed to using personal digital assistants in more environments.
For the digital assistant platforms — Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri chief among them — the hotel market represents an opportunity to introduce the platforms' functionality to more potential customers.