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Hey, Siri! Aloft Hotels unveil new iPad based voice activated rooms

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Some of the results of the top secret Project Jetson project that Starwood Hotels launched last year are now coming to fruition – one of which is completely voice activated rooms at select Aloft hotels around the United States.

So now at the command of “Hello, Siri!” – guests can control the thermostat, temperature and make and receive calls through the new exclusive Starwood app that is only available through Starwood custom made iPads that will be made standard to every room at Aloft properties.

In fact, you now can also use Siri to do concierge type searches for restaurants and sites for you, or even get you information on your departing flight or car rental situation – all piped through a in-room Bose installed surround sound system.

You are also free to use the iPad as you normally would – browsing the internet and making use of commonly used apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or Instagram.

Sarah Downing, Vice President, Global Guest Initiatives & Innovation, Aloft Hotels, proudly noted that:

At Aloft, we are constantly pushing the envelope, our imaginations and the adaptation of technology to reinvent the hotel stay of today and tomorrow. We love working with companies like DigiValet to help bring our visions to life. The new Aloft Voice Activated Hotel Rooms are going to change the way that our guests interact, literally, with their room during their stay with us. It’s the latest way Aloft is changing the way we all travel.

The way the system works is quite straight forward – once guests check in at the lobby the app is then activated in the room – and special bonus: if you are an existing SPG member your prior details are also downloaded and logged into the system. Once in the room the iPad will feature a personalized welcome screen which will take guests unfamiliar with the new process on how to set up their room and their in-room Siri.

After that? I suppose the fun begins. SPG claims the hotel room and this new system will:

  • Control Temperature – Wake up hot at 2 am? Simply ask Siri to adjust the temperature on the Ecobee HomeKit-enabled thermostat by saying “Hey Siri, cool the room” to your desired setting.

  • Adjust Lighting – Watching a movie or reading in bed? Use Homekit-enabled Philips Hue lights to select preset lighting options for every mood including: Re:set (standard lighting); Re:lax (evening); Re:view (movie theater); and Re:vive (morning). Just ask Siri to turn on the lights, turn off the lights, or simply say good morning.

  • “Set the Mood (Music) – Singing in the shower but want a new track? Say “Hey Siri, put on my morning playlist.” To use this feature, guests must be signed into their iTunes account on the iPad. Music plays through the guest’s personal device.

  • Explore Local Attractions – Need a virtual concierge? Just ask “Hey Siri, what are some attractions near me?” so you can navigate the area like a local.

If you’re worried about privacy, don’t be: after each check out the iPads are completely reset and wiped out, and all your personal details and preferences go out the window.

Finally, for a bit of background on this project, SPG had this to say:

The results of “Project: Jetson” are the latest innovation from the team of dreamers and doers at Aloft Hotels and were brought to life in collaboration with DigiValet, the iPad-based guest room solution for luxury hotels. Always ahead of the curve, other tech-forward offerings from Aloft have included: Botlr, the world’s first robotic butler, currently employed at Aloft Cupertino and Aloft Silicon Valley; TiGi (“text it, get it”) the world’s first Emoji-only room service menu; and SPG Keyless, which allows guests to utilize their smartphones as room keys.

While still in its infancy, I feel these new initiatives further strengthens the Aloft brand and also jives with the marketing image they strive to propagate – if this feature can be rolled out relatively seamlessly and can be consistently provided across the Aloft brand, I see bigger things coming for this sub-brand of SPG. An offering that resembles more of something that a W should feature, it seems as though Aloft has beaten them to the punch on this one – and at a much lower price point to boot.

I for one definitely look forward to trying this new concept out!

Siri voice activated rooms will be slowly rolled out across all Aloft properties around the world, but the first two locations that will offer this service are the Aloft Boston Seaport and Aloft Santa Clara.






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