What’s Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) aiming at with Watson-based robot?
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) is currently testing a robot concierge called Connie, named after the founder of Hilton hotel chain. Connie is based on International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM)’s Watson technology, but it also uses technology from WayBlazer. What exactly is Hilton aiming at with Connie?
At things juncture Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) says it hasn’t decided which way it will go in deploying robots. What it is presently doing is testing the robot and after that it can decide what to do. But the options are that it can deploy Connie to all its global facilities or only limit them to a few select facilities. The hotel chain could also scrap the idea of deploying robots at its facilities if it isn’t impressed with the results of the ongoing tests.
What’s Connie capable of?
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT)’s Connie brings a new element of human-machine interaction at the hotel company’s Hilton McLean facility in Virginia where it is being tested.
Connie understands questions posed to it in natural language and it responds appropriately to those questions. It is also capable of learning and the more interacts with people the more it gets better.
Connie can walk, talk, and point out to customers what they want to know. It also responds to human emotions.
The rise of bots in hotels
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) is not the only hotel chain testing robots for deployment to help with its operations. In Japan, the Hen-na Hotel is nearly fully run by robots. There are just about 10 human beings employed as staff at the Hen-na Hotel.
In New York, the Japanese-themed Yotel has a robot that handles customers’ luggage. The Aloft Hotel in Cupertino has also employed the services of a robot that delivers room services.
Why robots in hotels
According to Hilton’s VP of global brands, Jim Holthouser, they are only trying to be innovative. Part of that is that the hospitality industry is so competitive that one has to be on top of its game to survive. Additionally, Hilton is looking for new ways to impress its customers so that they can keep coming for unique experiences.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT)’s Connie robot concierge marks the first entry of IBM’s Watson in hotel industry robotics.
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