TechnologyLooking Ahead to Voice-Controlled, In-Room Entertainment

Looking Ahead to Voice-Controlled, In-Room Entertainment

While voice-controlled personal assistants like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home have yet to be widely adopted for entertainment purposes in the hotel industry, many companies are racing to bring this cutting-edge technology into guestrooms. One such company is hospitality integration firm Mode:Green, which, in partnership with guest engagement company Volara, is developing software that better positions personalized voice-activated technology to be integrated into hotels. Bill Lally, president of Mode:Green, says that once this technology is perfected, it will help hotels personalize guestroom entertainment to each individual guest.

Lally predicts that guests will be able to stream their favorite music and personal playlists through devices like Amazon’s Echo. However, the real holdup here isn’t technology, it’s licensing. “Hotels have access to invest in music libraries. Getting that access isn’t difficult—it’s just working through channels and making sure the content is procured directly and legally.”

There’s also video streaming. After signing into their personal accounts, guests will be able to watch their preferred shows or movies by simply asking for them. Lally explains that many hotels will have to update their internet services to make this work in a hotel.

“When a person asks Alexa to turn on a certain show, the device is not talking directly to the television; it’s talking to the WiFi, which in turn talks to the TV. Making sure the foundation is working correctly is key to ensuring the technology works correctly,” Lally says. Once technology catches up, Lally predicts that personalized content will be king. “This makes the guest stay that much easier. It allows us to put more technology in a room without making it more complicated. It actually becomes less complicated.”

Kate Hughes
Kate Hughes, Editor, LODGING Magazine

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