May 23, 2019
Latest News
Science & Technology

Robots, artificial intelligence serve guests at China's hotel of the future

By Paula Escalada Medrano.

Hangzhou, China, May 8 (efe-epa).- Robots serving guests, doors that open with facial recognition and voice-controlled lighting are some of the features that guests are greeted with at the Alibaba-owned futuristic FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou, China.

"Thanks to the advanced technologies of the Alibaba Group the entire hotel has the facial recognition system and also artificial intelligence that improves the guests' stay," a hotel spokesperson told EFE during a tour of the building.

Right from entering reception it is clear that this is not a regular hotel. A huge screen welcomes guests who can check in via an app on their mobile phones or with self-service kiosks in the lobby, all without a receptionist or wait time.

Guests' faces are scanned upon check-in and function as the key to open hotel room doors and elevators.

FlyZoo uses the photos taken during check-in to verify users are staying at the hotel and to allow guests to use common areas such as the gymnasium and a futuristic lounge equipped with an intelligent and interactive screen to enable them to do a tailored workout.

Inside the hotel rooms, the Tmall Genie smart assistant developed by Alibaba and which is similar to Amazon’s Alexa welcomes guests and helps them control the temperature, lights, blinds and television.

It also answers questions such as "What is the WiFi password?" and plays music requested by a simple voice command.

In addition, if guests want something to eat or drink or need hygiene products, they need only to ask the assistant.

This is when the stars of the hotel spring into action: the robots ride the elevators with ease to provide room service to the customers.

"The aim of this type of technology is not to reduce the amount of staff needed but to increase the productivity and efficiency of the hotel, using people in appropriate places instead of making them do repetitive jobs," the spokesperson said.

With the hotel staff freed from routine tasks, they can then focus on providing a better experience to the guests, according to the spokesperson.

"Although it is a hotel of the future, it does not mean that it is completely bereft of people to operate it because that, obviously, is impossible," added the spokesperson, who refused to reveal figures on personnel savings.

The hotel, which has 290 rooms and is located close to the main headquarters of the Alibaba Group, is operated by around 100 workers.

The price for a night's stay at the hotel varies between 600-2,300 yuan (between $89-$340).

FlyZoo Hotel “represents Alibaba’s endeavor to marry hospitality with technology, and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” Alibaba Future Hotel CEO Andy Wang said in a statement.

The hotel's spokesperson also assured those concerned about privacy that everything recorded at the hotel is deleted after guests check out, which they can do using their phones after settling their bill. They can then leave as the large screen in the lobby thanks them for their visit.

pem/pd/tw

News history
Brazil reintroducing animal species into world's largest urban forest

By Carlos A. Moreno

Almaty, Kazakhstan, May 17 (efe-epa).- Springtime takes on a special meaning along the foothills of the Alatau mountains surrounding the southern Kazakh...

Blood & Truth, PlayStation VR makes you an action hero

By Paula Baena Velasco

Satellite images suggest deforestation decreasing in Latin America

By Gonzalo Sánchez

Toyota, Panasonic announce new joint venture to develop smart homes

Tokyo, May 9 (efe-epa).- Japan’s car maker Toyota Motor and technology giant Panasonic announced on Thursday that they would set up a joint venture to...

Robots, artificial intelligence serve guests at China's hotel of the future

By Paula Escalada Medrano.

Noise pollution threatens Chile's whales

By Patricia Lopez Rossell

Vietnamese teenagers hoping to clean air with bicycle invention

By Eric San Juan

Mexican researcher heads int'l project on globular clusters

Mexico City, May 5 (efe-epa).- Rosa Amelia Gonzalez Lopezlira, a researcher with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), headed an...

Scientists find water in Itokawa asteroid samples

Washington, May 1 (efe-epa).- A group of researchers at Arizona State University has found water in samples collected from the surface of the asteroid...

Robot waiters? In one Budapest cafe androids are serving the orders

By Marcelo Nagy

Research reveals that some hydrocarbons have mineral origin

Washington, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- An international group of scientists at the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) announced on Monday that part of the Earth's...

Mexican muralist chronicles the coming of the conquistadors

Veracruz, Mexico, Apr 19 (epa-efe).- Melchor Peredo Garcia has created six murals to represent the "historical and sociological phenomenon" of the arrival...

Mexican hamlet marks 500 years since Cortes came ashore

La Antigua, Mexico, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- In legends, in ruins and in the natural exuberance of the ceiba trees, the legacy of Hernan Cortes lives on in this...

Giving Streets: app combats poverty through cashless donations

London, Apr 18 (efe.-epa).- As the number of people in the UK carrying small change is dropping daily, the most vulnerable in society who rely on...

China launches Martian simulator for budding space explorers

By Víctor Escribano

People in China pay for praises from online flattery groups

By Victor Escribano

Historian: Was Cortes Indians' puppet who sold himself as conquistador?

By Zoilo Carrillo.

Bolivian lake island aims to become sanctuary for giant frogs

Yolanda Salazar

Jose Luis Gomez: Black holes are most bizarre objects

By Noemí G. Gómez

Burkina Faso split over genetically-modified mosquitoes to combat malaria

By Maria Rodriguez

Radiation: a key technique for the preservation of art and culture

By Antonio Sánchez Solís

SpaceX successfully launches Falcon Heavy rocket, deploys Arabsat-6A

Miami, USA, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- The powerful Falcon Heavy rocket, by US company SpaceX, took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Thursday and successfully...

First ever photo of supermassive black hole revealed

Brussels, Apr 10 (efe-epa).- The first-ever image of a supermassive black hole loitering at the heart of the Milky Way was unveiled on Wednesday in Brussels...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.