But one of the more unique places we’ve seen Amazon’s voice assistant was inside a 3,475 square-foot, 2-bedroom hotel suite at the Wynn hotel on The Strip.
In December 2016, Amazon announced that it was equipping 4,748 hotel rooms at the Wynn Las Vegas with the company’s Echo device, allowing guests to use their voice to open curtains, turn on the lights, fire up the TV, and get basic information like news and weather.
The hotel has been slowly rolling out the device in more rooms and we had a chance to test out the functionality inside a posh suite at Encore, a sister resort that is connected to the Wynn.
There were two Echos in the suite — one in the living room, and another in the master bedroom. Beyond basic Echo functionality — asking about weather/news; playing music; etc. — the devices are custom-built to let guests turn the lights on and off, open and close the curtains, set the thermostat, turn the TV on to specific channels, set a “do not disturb” for housekeeping, and more.
Having Alexa available is a nice added perk for hotel guests who can walk into their room and use their voice to control various electronics. My favorite part was saying “Alexa, turn on TV” in the master bedroom and having the TV slide upward out of a panel — it kind of felt like magic.
As far as potential privacy concerns, the Echos at the Wynn work just like they do inside a home — it only listens when it hears the “Alexa” command.
Wynn has installed Echo devices in nearly 300 rooms, including 76 suites, with plans to add the technology to another 400 or so over the next couple months.
“I have never, ever seen anything that was more intuitively dead-on to making the guest experience seamlessly delicious, effortlessly convenient, with the ability to talk to your room and say: ‘Alexa, I am here, open the curtains, lower the temperature, turn on the news,'” Wynn founder Steve Wynn said in 2016. “She becomes our butler at the service at each of our guests.”
Wynn uses Alexa for Business, a new platform announced in November that gives companies a back-end dashboard to manage a fleet of Echos and build custom Alexa skills catered to their particular needs through Amazon Web Services.
Testing Alexa at the Wynn reminded me of when I tried using Alexa inside a suite at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners.
The Echo may have launched initially as an at-home product, but Amazon’s voice technology clearly has potential use cases inside places like the Wynn or Safeco Field. It gives businesses a way to add an extra perk that can potentially enhance the customer experience. You can imagine the Wynn using Alexa over time to do even more, like booking a table at dinner, or making an order with room service, for example.
In addition to the Wynn Las Vegas, there are more than 30 other hotels across the U.S. also offering Alexa experiences on their properties, Amazon said.
Other companies like Apple and Google are also trying to get their voice technology inside hotel rooms.