With the Internet of Things (IoT) and voice-enabled technologies playing a pioneer for the future, making requests for services such as room cleaning, wake-up calls, laundry, in-room dining, and room check-out is now made easy by Alexa.
With a comprehensive and intuitive smart hotel room feature in India, Park Inn by Radisson IP Extension recently launched its voice assistant-enabled smart hotel rooms, which enables complete automation of service requests and virtual control of TV and lighting fixtures.
“The efficiency of the hotel has improved since the installation of Smart Studio Rooms, as it reduces the time taken to provide the service, due to instant notification and thus improving the performance. The guests can now request for services such as room cleaning, wake-up calls, laundry, in-room dining, and room check-out by speaking to the smart device,” said General Manager, Park Inn, I.P. Extension, Saurav Dutta.
He added that the guests can use their mobile devices to play videos and listen to music, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube, beamed onto the TV set.
“With the voice-activated in-room solutions we expect a 50 percent improvement in housekeeping efficiencies; ensuring speedier completion of service requests. Eventually, the intent is to diversify & grow the connected room features, as part of our on-going efforts to offer bespoke experiences that evolve with the needs of our patrons,” added Saurav Dutta.
Behind the motive of installing Alexa as an interface, the brand believes that the service will enhance the guest experience using technological innovation and ensuring timely delivery of work while increasing the convenience of the customers and overall performance of services.
“Almost every industry in the world is on the cusp of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution, with a promise of improved efficiencies. Therefore, it is time for hotel businesses to embrace this change with great dexterity; as the sector contributes extensively to India’s GDP. Six studio rooms in the hotel have been fitted with Amazon Alexa’s Echo Dot devices and the services are divided into three categories – accessibility, entertainment and hotel services to serve the customers better. We will continue to enhance and further improve the technology to introduce new prospects time and again,” he added.
As mentioned, six rooms in the property have been fitted with Amazon’s AI-powered Echo Dot devices.
This allows guests to control light settings, music played in the room, and even the television with simple voice commands.
Additionally, guests can now request for services such as room cleaning, wake-up calls, laundry, in-room dining, and room check-out by merely speaking to the smart device.
Once checked-in, guests can use their mobile devices to play videos and listen to music, such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube; beamed onto the TV set.
For a limited-period, complimentary in-room subscriptions to Amazon Prime Video are also on offer.
The guests’ mobile can also be used as a remote control for the television and set-top box. What’s more, their phones can double as a keyboard and mouse, turning the TV screen into a computer interface.
Following the shortcomings, the brand aims to make the interface better by curating voice enabled smart studio rooms for the customers who escalate the services enabled with innovative technology, new challenges are tied up with new technologies.
“Our R&D team is constantly working on refining the experience for the customers by resolving technical issues as and when they appear,” he added.
Adding to the response which the category has received so far, he said, “It has been a great experience for the guests while staying in our Smart Studio rooms. The customers have shared a positive feedback and found the technology that of a high innovation as these are the first ever smart rooms which they experienced.”
“We will continue to improve the technology and make the experience more convenient for the customers,” he added.
The studio rooms integrated with this new technology have been configured by a Bangalore based software firm, Kamakshi Clouds.
The hotel plans to expand the AI services, to other rooms, after careful review of guest preferences in the days to come.
Nike Adapt Self-Lacing Smart Sneaker Will Require Regular Charging
Nike has found a new way to capture more information about its customers: through their sneakers.
At an event called the “Future of Footwear,” Nike unveiled a new shoe concept, called Nike Adapt, that tracks performance in real time, allowing the company to give weekend warriors athletic tips and also sell them more products.
“It’s the start of a new day,” said Michael Donaghu, Nike’s director of global footwear innovation. “It’s like we’re moving from footwear to firmwear.”
The shoes, with their data-tracking capability, present customers with a choice about privacy — if they opt not to share their data, they’ll miss out on a lot of the product’s capabilities. The company is starting with basketball shoes, which will sell for $350 (roughly Rs. 25,000).
The shoe self-tightens to an athlete’s preference – there are no laces – and is adjustable via an app. The products carry sensors, accelerometers and gyroscopes that can give Nike a full, personalized snapshot of its owner’s performance. They’ll need recharging every two weeks.
“It’s like having two smartphones strapped to your two feet,” said Michael Martin, Nike’s global head of digital products.
CEO Mark Parker discussed the new shoes in vague terms in December, calling it a “major step” in taking Nike’s new digital emphasis and embedding it into actual product.
Nike stores are also going digital. The company calls new flagship locations unveiled two months ago in New York and Shanghai “Houses of Innovation.” They blend online shopping with the in-person experience. To get the full experience, you essentially have to download the Nike app.
Nike is in the midst of a digital transformation. A large part of that is trying to get more of its customers to become members of the NikePlus loyalty program. The company has found members spend three times more than nonmembers when they shop at Nike.com.
Though Nike has seen rapid growth in apparel sales, shoes still accounted for 61 percent of the company’s $36.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year.
Nike auto-lacing shoes have been around since 2017, when the company sold a limited number of low-top sneakers for $720, the most expensive shoes it ever released.
These shoes will be available through Nike’s direct channels, and through retailers, and will debut in the NBA on the feet of Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum later this week.
The shoe’s technology is can be updated through the app, meaning its capabilities can change after it’s purchased. The Beaverton, Oregon-based company plans to release more products with the Adapt technology, including running shoes, sportswear and lifestyle items.
“The advantages we’re looking to provide the athlete are so substantial that you’ll see a mass of people wanting to make use of those benefits,” Martin said.
Microsoft Says Will Set Up 10 AI Labs, Train 5 Lakh Youth in India
Microsoft India to set up Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs in 10 universities and train five lakh youth across the country in disrupting technologies.
The company also said it will upskill over 10,000 developers over the next three years.
“We believe AI will enable Indian businesses and more for India’s progress, especially in education, skilling, healthcare and agriculture,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.
Microsoft AI today is fuelling digital transformation for over 700 customers and 60 per cent customers are large manufacturing and financial services enterprises.
Over 700 partners have geared up to support the AI ecosystem, said the company.
Microsoft in December announced a three-year “Intelligent Cloud Hub” collaborative programme in India, for empowering institutes to skill students in AI and Cloud technologies.
India is one of the first countries to have such a programme in which Microsoft will support selected institutes that have the best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, onsite training for faculty and students, access for participating students to Cloud and AI services, developmental tools and developer support.
In April 2018, the company announced the Microsoft Professional Programme (MPP) for the public.
This programme is helping in providing job-ready skills along with real-world experience to engineers as well as others who plan on improving their skills in AI and data science, using a series of online courses.
“Microsoft also believes that it is imperative to build higher awareness and capabilities on security, privacy, trust and accountability,” said Maheshwari.
TP-Link Launches New Wi-Fi 6 Routers at CES 2019 With Something at Every Price Point
TP-Link has announced five new next-generation wireless products at CES 2019. All these routers are based on Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with prices ranges from the affordable entry-level routers to expensive wireless routers meant for gaming. In December last year, TP-Link had introduced its first two Wi-Fi 6 routers based on Broadcom platforms. With its latest announcement at CES 2019, the company seems keen on bringing more Wi-Fi 6 products for everyone.
The new TP Link Deco X10 is a mesh networking-based wireless router. It comes in a pack of two (one main unit and a satellite), priced at $349.99 (roughly Rs. 24,340). It offers a wireless bandwidth of up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,200Mbps on the 5GHz band.
The company has also announced a new Archer AX11000 gaming wireless router. It is a tri-band wireless router capable of a maximum wireless throughput of up to 4,804Mbps on the 5GHz bands and up to 1,148Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. TP-Link had added USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports to enable storage sharing across the network. The router will sell at $449.99 (roughly Rs. 31,300) and will be available later this month.
TP-Link’s new Archer AX6000 is a dual-band wireless router that offers features similar to the Archer AX11000 and is shipping right away. It includes a 2.5Gbps WAN port so in case you have a high-speed broadband connection, but you don’t play games, this might be the right router for you as it costs $100 (roughly Rs. 6,954) less than the Archer AX11000.
The basic TP-Link Archer AX1800 brings Wi-Fi 6 at an affordable price point. The Archer AX1800 is a dual-band wireless router which comes with a Gigabit WAN port and a USB 2.0 port to share data across the network. The router is priced at $129.99 (roughly Rs. 9,040). It will be available later this year.
TP-Link has also announced a new wireless range extender at CES 2019. The RE705X Wi-Fi range extender is a dual-band repeater which is priced at $99.99 (roughly Rs. 6,953). It will ship in the third quarter of 2019.