In China, AI in hotels is no longer just a fiction in movies. Now people can experience it in real life.

At the Atour S Hotel in Beijing, the smart AI rooms were put into operation silently. This is the first experimental project of Atour AT-LAB, and the implementation of Tencent Cloud Smart Hotel solutions. In April of this year, Tencent Cloud released the hotel business plan, which took just four months to complete the formal input and offline use.

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What is an AI hotel?
When introducing solutions for the hospitality industry, Tencent Cloud claimed that the transformation of traditional hotels is mainly reflected in two aspects: 1. Smart check-in and check-out; 2. Hotel management upgrade. The purpose of Tencent Cloud is very clear: It will use AI cloud solutions to replace the manual or computer mode that relies on receptionists in traditional hotels, and realise an "intelligent" hotel industry.

At the Atour S Hotels, Tencent Cloud has built an integrated service from through check-in to check-out, integrating AI technology, big data and hardware, so guests can enjoy the convenience of this new service.

The hotel introduces "Face Check-in”, which simplifies the check-in process immediately and reduces the time required. After guests have checked in and entered the hotel room, they can directly access the Tencent Cloud Xiaowei voice control to open the curtains or play a song in the room (Xiaowei is an intelligent service system. The hardware associated with Xiaowei can quickly provide the auditory and visual cognition ability). Guests can easily have their needs met by saying “Hello Xiaowei, …”

At the same time, Tencent Cloud Xiaowei connects directly with hotel management and the reception, so that customers can interact with the hotel at any time and receive the desired service. There is also a "smart mirror" in the bathroom. It looks like a normal mirror, but it becomes an information manager, when it is started by the guest. The guest can read customised messages, weather, health and other information through the smart mirror.

The "smart mirror" does not look any different from a normal one, but it could be an information manager when it starts.

That is, the smart hotel transformation not only focuses on the needs of the room’s guests, but also creates a channel through which the guest can connect with the information outside.

Of course, we can also see that Tencent has embedded other Tencent products into the room through Tencent Cloud Smart Hotel solutions, such as Tencent video, Tencent news, QQ music and so on.

In terms of hotel management, the most immediate change after transformation is improved efficiency and the reduction of operating costs. The combination of AI assistant and intelligent equipment, as well as the connection of user data, is synonymous with building an intelligent user service platform for the hotel that offers personalised services to meet guests’ needs.

A more user-friendly hotel experience
In the smart experience room of the Atour S Hotel, guests most frequently use Xiaowei, which is a virtual assistant. Xiaowei always connects its guests with smart equipment and the hotel's room service, just like an exclusive butler for guests.

Most of the time, it can satisfy any of your needs. For example, when you enter a dark room and you have heavy luggage in your hand, all you have to do is say: “Hi Xiaowei, turn on the light.” When you wake up in the morning and want to open the curtains, you just need to say: “Hi Xiaowei, open the curtains.”

You can have another experience: when you’re getting ready to go asleep in a hotel, you often have to search for multiple switches to turn off the lights. Now all you have to do is say: “Hey, Xiaowei, turn off all the lights, or adjust the lighting mode”. It is a very user-friendly experience.”

In the case of Tencent Cloud and Atour S Hotel, the biggest feature is the use of intelligent assistant; the Xiaowei assistant can complete the orders of the guests.

The purpose of AI hotel is to provide a new way of interacting between user and the device, allowing user to enjoy a friendlier and smarter check-in at the hotel.

Fierce competition in China's AI hotel market

Artificial intelligence is an opportunity and a direction for the transformation of traditional hotels. Internet giants who want to revolutionise traditional hotels, are seeing intense competition.

In October 2017, Tencent QQ teamed up with Chimelong Group Co., Ltd (Chimelong Group Co., Ltd is a national tourism brand that owns and operates theme parks, luxury hotels, convention centres, high-end restaurants and leisure entertainment companies) and built the first global QQ smart theme hotel in Zhuhai, integrating Xiaowei into the hotel service system.

Alibaba's A.I.Labs, Feizhu (Ali-Trip) and the Marriott Group launched the future hotel 2.0 strategy in the Westin Sanya and introduced Tmall Smart for the first time. Baidu cooperated with the Intercontinental Hotels Group and used artificial intelligence hardware Raven H and DuerOS to explore smart hotel solutions.

At the Tencent Cloud+ Future Summit this year, Pony Ma said: "Tencent has been focusing for many years on connecting people with people, people with things, and people with services. This is the cloud era, which corresponds separately to the internet of humans, the Internet of things and the Internet of intelligence." Well, how to infiltrate these three elements into the hospitality industry will be a manifestation of Tencent's cloud computing and big data capabilities.

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