While I like luxury hotels in general, I’m a huge fan of the Aloft concept. It’s unpretentious, consistent, and fun, all without trying too hard (unlike Tru by Hilton, which seems to be an annoying copy cat of this).
Even though they’re more of a budget brand, they’ve really embraced technology, from features like emoji room service to robot butlers.
Well, Aloft has just announced their latest technological innovation — voice activated hotel rooms. The voice activated hotel rooms each feature an iPad running an Aloft app that’s used for controlling in-room features. This new feature is initially available at the Aloft Boston Seaport and Aloft Santa Clara, though should be extended to more properties soon.
Here’s how the features of the iPad are described, per the press release:
- 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.
Ultimately I appreciate any technological advancements that give guests more options, though personally I don’t see myself using this. For me, this is the point where technology goes from simplifying my life to complicating my life. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the option, but I just don’t personally see value in it.
Changing the temperature is easy enough, especially at an Aloft. As far as the lights go, typically there’s a light switch right next to the bed, and then from there I can decide which other lights I want to turn on or off. I’m not sure a voice-activated feature would help much in that regard. As far as local attractions go, I think I can research that better myself than what Siri could tell me.
Would you like to see voice activated hotel rooms expanded? Could you see yourself using it?