Video: Amazon Alexa checks in to hotel rooms
Amazon is finally bringing Alexa to the hotel room. The e-commerce giant announced Tuesday the launch of Alexa for Hospitality, a specialized version of the voice assistant that integrates into popular hotel software systems for guest services.
Read also: Top 5: Ways Alexa can help you get work done (TechRepublic)
Housed inside of an Echo device, Alexa for Hospitality is functionally identical to the Alexa used in homes, except tailored to a hotel's service options. Guests can tell Alexa to order room service, book a spa appointment, call for housekeeping, provide directions, or play music in their room, for example.
On the privacy side, Amazon said hotels will not have access to voice recordings of Alexa interactions or responses, and recordings of Alexa commands are remotely wiped when the guest checks out of the hotel. However, hotels can use Alexa for Hospitality to "measure engagement through analytics and adapt services based on guest feedback," Amazon said.
Alexa for Hospitality is available to hotels, vacation rentals, and other hospitality providers starting today, with Marriott International signed up to deploy the service across its hotel portfolio this summer.
In a separate announcement, Amazon also introduced Hub, a package delivery station for apartment buildings.
The Hub is essentially a wall of safety deposit box-style lockers where packages from Amazon are stored by delivery providers, usually inside of an apartment building's lobby.
If you're thinking that Hub sounds awfully similar to the Amazon Locker, you'd be correct. However, the Hub accepts packages from any sender, not just Amazon, and does not accept package returns, as the Lockers do.
Read also: Amazon to develop a smart doorbell to deliver packages inside your home
"Building on Amazon's expertise in locker solutions, the Hub addresses frustrations from property owners, carriers and residents concerning package delivery," said Patrick Supanc, director of Amazon Worldwide Lockers and Pickup. " For delivery providers, it offers a single, convenient location for package drop-off and gives property managers time and resources back to focus on other priorities."
Amazon says the Hub service is already available to 500,000 residents.
Australia now has Amazon Prime
The online retail giant has geared up for its Australian domination, launching its Amazon Prime service that offers two-day delivery and access to streaming, gaming, and reading services.
Amazon targets the convenience store with new Instant Pickup locations
Instant Pickup lets shoppers order snacks and drinks on the Amazon mobile app and have their order ready for pickup in as little as two minutes.