Alibaba Opens First AI-powered Smart Hotel in China
Alibaba Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) just unveiled its first AI-powered futuristic FlyZoo Hotel, where customers can access hotel services by simply scanning their faces.
The future is here - or, at least, back at the hotel.
No more lining up for checking in or trying to find key cards to open your room door. Alibaba Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) just unveiled its first AI-powered, futuristic FlyZoo Hotel, where customers can access all hotel services by simply scanning their faces.
Located in Hangzhou, where the Chinese internet giant is headquartered, the hotel is loaded with artificial intelligence and robots that automate a series of procedures, Xinhua news agency reported.
Users can control the lights, television, and curtains in the room via Alibaba's voice-activated digital assistant, while different robots are deployed to serve food and other services in the room.
Bookings and check-out can be easily done with a few clicks on the hotel's official mobile app.
"The AI-based solution can help customers save time and relieve hotel employees from repetitive work," said Qun Wang, chief executive officer of FlyZoo Hotel. Compared with a traditional hotel, the new AI system could potentially replace more than half of the labor force, Wang said.
The hotel is the latest example of Chinese tech companies' foray into traditional industries, such as the hospitality sector.
Earlier this year, another tech giant, Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU), teamed up with InterContinental Hotels Group in Beijing to launch several AI smart rooms at its hotel in Sanlitun, located in Beijing's Chaoyang district. Customers can use the AI-activated speaker in the room, developed by Baidu's DuerOS Platform, to control the temperature of the air conditioning, turn up the lights, and close the curtains.