Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has begun rolling out new artificial intelligence (AI) powered “smart rooms” at its properties in China that, notably, includes introducing voice control technology.
These new AI Smart Rooms have been developed in collaboration with Chinese technology company Baidu using its DuerOS Platform, and are already up and running at two of IHG’s hotels in China, the Intercontinental Beijing Sanlitun and the Intercontinental Guangzhou Exhibition Centre.
IHG aims to introduce a total of 100 AI-powered Club Intercontinental suites at its Intercontinental-brand hotels across China within the year.
The technology behind the smart rooms notably allows guests to use voice commands that enable them to “freely switch settings between work and leisure modes, and enjoy a more convenient and seamless room service experience”, according to IHG.
Speaking about the AI Smart Rooms, Lin Wang, vice president of marketing for IHG Greater China, said: “Millennials are particularly sensitive to technology, often seeking new things to try. The AI Smart Room will undoubtedly be extremely attractive for them, paving the way for a new level of modernisation and consumer satisfaction.
“We will continue to make use of cutting-edge technology in hotel service and facilities in the future, and we hope this will further strengthen customer awareness and appreciation of smart technology.”
IHG isn’t the only hotel group that’s been investing in “smart” technology in its rooms, however.
Back in November, Marriott unveiled a new Internet of Things (IoT) powered room concept that enables in-room appliances to communicate with one another, again with voice control technology at the forefront.
The hotel group has also separately been testing touchscreen shower doors that allow guests to write or draw on the doors using the condensation produced from the shower and then send these messages as emails.
Meanwhile, the Grand Ambassador Seoul, which operates under Accorhotels’ Pullman brand, launched 25 IoT Smart Rooms back in July, though these focus more on the use of QR codes and controlling settings using a personal handheld device.