Alibaba Opens First ‘Future Hotel’ In China

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Alibaba, China’s internet giant, opened its first hi-tech hotel where visitors can register by essentially scanning their faces.

What Is It?

FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou (where Alibaba’s headquarters are located) is known to be the organizations first “future hotel”. Customers can check into the hotel by simply scanning their faces. The facial recognition system installed in the hotel also enables customers to use their faces as key cards to open doors and access other hotel services.

Users can also control the lights, television and curtains in the room via Alibaba’s voice-activated digital assistant, while robots are deployed to serve dishes, cocktails and coffee. The mobile app helps you with Hotel bookings and check-out. “The AI-based solution can help customers save time and relieve hotel employees from repetitive work,” said Wang Qun, CEO of FlyZoo Hotel.

What Else?

FlyZoo is the recent example of Chinese tech companies’ foray into traditional industries such as the hospitality sector.E-commerce giant JD.com announced in October its strategy to put smart home and electronic devices sold on its platform into hotels, in an effort to boost online sales.

In July, Baidu teamed up with Intercontinental Hotels Group in Beijing to allow guests to use its voice-controlled assistant to adjust room temperature and order room service at ease. Before that, social media giant Tencent introduced QQfamily, a similar tech solution for hotel operators, in the southern city of Zhuhai last year.

Tushal Kukreja
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