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Amazon's Alexa will now play butler at Marriott hotels
AMAZON.COM Inc said on Tuesday that it has partnered with Marriott International Inc to help increase guest access to amenities with Alexa, through its voice-controlled device Echo, in an attempt to expand its presence in the hospitality industry.
Alexa for hospitality would assist in providing services ranging from ordering room service to requesting housekeeping or calling the concierge for dinner recommendations without picking up the phone.
The company said the partnership will start this summer at Marriott's select properties and the service will be available by invitation to other hotel chains. Several media reports had said that Marriott had tested both Apple Inc's Siri and Amazon's Alexa to select what was best suited for its hotels.
On whether Alexa was chosen over Siri, Marriott said: "This was not a direct comparison with Siri. We work with a number of partners in order to test emerging technology so we can learn and leverage what we believe will enhance the guest experience."
Amazon has never disclosed the exact sales figure for its Echo devices. However, the company said in January that it sold "millions" of Amazon devices and that the Echo Dot device was the best-selling product among Prime members.
The company's move to tie up with hotels is another strategy to woo more users for its Echo devices. Amazon Echo owners spend an average of US$1,700 a year on Amazon, more than the US$1,300 that Amazon Prime members are estimated to be spending a year on the e-commerce site, CNBC reported earlier this year, citing a report by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. REUTERS