- Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate, opened a high-tech “hotel of the future” in Hangzhou, China, earlier this year.
- The hotel allows guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app and enter rooms using facial-recognition technology rather than a traditional key card.
- Robots created by Alibaba’s AI Labs serve food, toiletries, and other sundries. Here’s a closer look at what the experience is like.
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Alibaba Group is vying to create the hotel of the future.
Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant opened its FlyZoo Hotel, which it describes as a “290-room ultra-modern boutique, where technology meets hospitality.” The hotel is the first of its kind in that it eschews traditional check-in and key card processes, instead allowing guests to manage reservations and make payments entirely from a mobile app, sign in using self-service kiosks, and enter their rooms using facial-recognition technology.
Additionally, the hotel is run almost entirely by robots that serve food and fetch toiletries and other sundries as needed.
The hotel was developed by the company’s online travel platform, Fliggy, in tandem with Alibaba’s AI Labs and Alibaba Cloud technology with the goal “to leverage cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry, one that keeps the sector current with the digital era we’re living in,” according to the company.
“As smart technology is reshaping industries, the FlyZoo Hotel represents Alibaba’s endeavor to marry hospitality with technology, and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” Andy Wang, CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel, the group operating the hotel, said in a press statement.
Here’s a closer look at what it’s like inside: