Sci&Tech

Alexa, send up breakfast: Amazon launches Echo for hotels

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, a new Amazon Echo is displayed during a program announcing several new Amazon products by the company, in Seattle. Amazon has launched a version of Alexa for hotels that lets guests order room service through the voice assistant, ask for more towels or get restaurant recommendations without having to pick up the phone and call the front desk. Marriott signed up for the service. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

NEW YORK: Alexa has a new job: hotel concierge.

Amazon has launched a version of Alexa for hotels that lets guests order room service through the voice assistant, ask for more towels or get restaurant recommendations without having to pick up the phone and call the front desk. Marriott has signed up for the service, and will place Amazon Echo smart speakers in 10 hotels this summer, including its Westin and St. Regis brands.

It is another way for Amazon to sell its voice assistant and devices to businesses and get Alexa in front of more customers. Amazon already sells a version of Alexa for workplaces, and has struck deals to place Alexa in cars and refrigerators. Alexa has become an important part of Amazon's business because it keeps users attached to Amazon services, such as music streaming.

Amazon said data from hotel guests will be deleted daily, and Marriott said those who don't want an Echo device in their room can ask to have it removed.

Hotels will be able to customize the responses Alexa gives their guests, such as nearby restaurant recommendations or pool hours. Other tasks that Alexa for Hospitality can do include checking guests out of their room, turning on the lights or playing lullabies to help them fall asleep.

Later this year, Amazon will allow hotel guests to link their Amazon.com account to Alexa so they can listen to their music playlists or audio books during their stay. Shopping, however, won't be allowed through the hotel version of Alexa, Amazon said.

 

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