B1 Intermediate US 337 Folder Collection
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Thank you.
There's something very strange about saying thank you to a robot.
You probably know Alibaba for its e-commerce platforms, but the Chinese tech company is branching out.
It's aggressively testing and implementing tech concepts that span from retail to restaurants, and even hotels.
This should open with facial recognition, let's see.
I've come to Alibaba's futuristic FlyZoo hotel, which is a stone's throw away from its headquarters in Hangzhou, and almost everything you can imagine here, is automated.
I'm not sure if this is cool or creepy.
The first thing I see is no counter, no couches.
This is it, this is the hotel lobby.
You don't have a traditional check-in counter, you don't have a concierge.
Checking in.
Foreigners will check in here as staff will come up and assist.
But for Chinese nationals, they'll check on the kiosks, or they can just check in on their phone if they actually have the app of the hotel.
She's going to take my picture, so I'll be able to open the door and get access around the hotel.
That's it? Just like that?
How do I remember... what was my room number again?
I'll take a picture so I can remember my room number.
Just use your face to open the door. It's okay.
Okay, thank you.
I feel a little bit lost without a keycard or receipt or anything like that.
To access my floor, I have to scan my face in the elevator.
And again, at my door to access my room.
It's just like that.
I enter my room.
The 290-room so-called "smart hotel" welcomed its first guests at the end of 2018.
And while you won't see as many faces at reception as a traditional hotel, there is still some staff around.
Like housekeeping, which Alibaba says still have to use a traditional keycard to clean your room.
For the young generation, they love it.
And for the generation like us, they would feel a little bit nervous initially.
Andy Wang is the CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel, which oversees FlyZoo.
With our assistant from our service ambassador in the hotel lobby, they will feel more comfortable.
Because everybody knows how to use Alipay, everybody knows how to use their smartphone.
But the idea here isn't for Alibaba to open its own hotels.
It's using FlyZoo to develop technologies it can sell to existing hotels chains.
One of its partners is Marriott International, the company behind Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis, W and more.
No one would say, "I'd like to go to the front desk and do more," right?
Peggy Fang Roe is the chief sales and marketing officer for Asia-Pacific at Marriott International.
It's getting good traction, but there are still steps in that check-in process that require you to stop by the front desk so we haven't eliminated it completely.
But when we do, I think people will adapt to it quite quickly.
She says some of Marriott's properties in China could be eliminating the front desk check-in process soon.
Each hotel room has one of these and it's sort of like Alibaba's answer to Amazon Alexa or Google Home.
You can order water, you can order slippers you could even order room service.
It can also open the curtains for you, it can turn on the TV, it can even dim the lights.
Tmall genie.
What did she say?
Apparently, she said, "I don't understand what you're saying. Can you say it again?"
Many of those deliveries are made by these robot butlers, except for things like soups, and irons and ironing boards.
This robot can call an elevator itself.
It doesn't need to actually hit any buttons.
And there it goes.
Forget about your traditional hotel vending machine.
Here you can open the AliPay app, scan the QR code, and then it unlocks.
So let's say I grab this drink.
Within seconds the app recognizes the product that I picked up from this refrigerator and it's charged me.
This is what's called Future Fitness Center.
To enter, again facial recognition.
This one's a lot more relaxing.
The hospitality industry is one of the world's top job-creating sectors, so does that mean hotels will one day be staff-less?
Do you think guests will miss interacting with humans?
No, never.
Hotel associates will always be one of the most important parts of hotel business.
Technology only helps us to improve our efficiency.
Wang claims that all the facial recognition data is only kept through the duration of a guest's stay.
It disappears once a guest checks out.
Peggy says facial recognition is already being tested in one of its Marriott properties nearby and could be rolled out to more properties once they get the okay from the government.
Around the world, consumer engagement with facial recognition can be really different.
I think the Chinese market is more ready to consume that functionality than other places around the world.
Even the hotel's restaurant is being used as a testbed for the technology too.
Every table has its own QR code.
So using the AliPay app, I simply open the app, and then it immediately shows me the restaurant, along with the menu.
From there, I'm ready to start ordering.
Pork, chicken, fried rice.
And just like that I've ordered dinner.
You found me.
Thank you.
Ah, there's more.
So there's multiple layers.
A staff member just served this lotus root.
When I asked why not the robot, he said, "Well the steam is time sensitive so it had from the kitchen to the table quite quickly."
I've come to the bar here at FlyZoo hotel, where once again I'm greeted with a QR code here at the table.
And perhaps unsurprisingly, behind me I see my drink is being made by, you guessed it, a robot.
Hey guys, it's Uptin.
Thanks for watching.
Do you think facial recognition will be in the hotel of the future?
Let us know in the comments below and don't forget to subscribe.
We'll see you next time.
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Alibaba’s keyless and cashless hotel is straight out of the future | CNBC Reports

337 Folder Collection
Fibby published on November 27, 2019    Fibby translated    Winnie Liao reviewed
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