STAMFORD, Conn.—Imagine asking a hotel room to turn up the air conditioning when it gets too hot or to turn on the lights before getting out of bed. Well, the future is here and it just checked in at Aloft Hotels. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has unveiled the results of its top secret “Project: Jetson” experiment, and is excited to debut the first-ever voice activated hotel room, giving guests entirely new ways to interact using “Hey Siri.” Each Aloft voice-activated hotel room is equipped with an iPad running a custom Aloft app used for controlling the in-room guest experience, with HomeKit-enabled accessories including room temperature, lighting options, and more. These new rooms are currently available at Aloft Boston Seaport and at Aloft Santa Clara.
“Forget the phrase ‘at the touch of your fingertips.’ Today’s early adopter, hyper-connected global traveler wants a level of personalization unlike ever before, and that means being able to control their hotel experience with the sound of their voice,” said Brian McGuinness, global brand leader, Aloft Hotels. “We’re thrilled to be the first hotel brand to bring voice-activation to our guests in this way, using Siri to control room temperature, lighting, and more during their stay.”
“At Aloft, we are constantly pushing the envelope, our imaginations and the adaptation of technology to reinvent the hotel stay of today and tomorrow,” said Sarah Downing, vice president, global guest initiatives and innovation, Aloft Hotels. “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.”
When guests arrive, they will launch a custom Aloft app on their in-room iPad to control various aspects of their voice-activated room. A personalized welcome screen will advise guests on how to set up their room and use their own voice with “Hey Siri.” Each iPad also offers a simple tutorial to guide guests through the setup process and answer any questions they may have.
Here is a sampling of what the hotel room can do:
· Control Temperature: Wake up hot at 2 a.m.? 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.
The new Aloft voice-activated hotel rooms also allow guests to browse the internet, check the weather, and more. At the end of each stay, all iPads are reset and all personal preferences are removed from the device.
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. 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.