China’s Alibaba Is Shaping the Future of the Machine-Driven Hotel

Chinese e-commerce players are racing among themselves to provide technology solutions to hotels. Alibaba fires the latest salvo with a prototype of the future hotel, FlyZoo.

1 April 2019

skift.com

Imagine being in your room within one minute of arriving at your hotel. FlyZoo, a 290-room hotel located close to Alibaba Group's headquarters in Hangzhou, a city 170 kilometers southwest of Shanghai, promises just that. It is powered by Fliggy, Alibaba's online travel platform.

The experience begins with the FlyZoo mobile app. Select the floor and the room view and book. If you're a local Chinese guest, check in via the app, which will also scan your face. Foreigners can check in upon arrival at one of several kiosks in the lobby.

Rather than keys and cards, FlyZoo uses facial recognition in the elevator and at the room to open doors. Inside, command Tmall Genie, Alibaba's voice technology, to adjust the temperature, lights, and curtains. Ask Genie what the Wi-Fi password is, although it's unthinkable a password is even needed for a future hotel.

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