Google is taking advantage of the pandemic era to try to work its way into the hospitality sector: the company has announced new ‘hands-free’ solutions for hotel stays.
The tech giant’s pitch revolves around its Nest Hub smart display. Installed in a hotel room, it can offer customized user experiences to guests, allowing them to schedule wake up calls or make other requests to the front desk via voice command. Google has also developed an expedited checkout system that can be done through the Nest Hub.
What’s more, hotel administrators can connect the Nest Hub to other smart devices such as lights and blinds, allowing guests to control these fixtures just by speaking with the Google Assistant.
Previously, Google emphasized these Internet of Things features as they would apply in the smart home, but pivoting to the hotel room at a time when the hospitality industry is desperate to find ways of adapting to COVID-19 appears to have opened up a new business line. Multiple hotels have already taken Google up on the idea, including the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Dr. Wilkinson’s Rest in Calistoga, and additional hotels in Miami, New York City, D.C., and the U.K. And Google says more hotel partnerships are in the pipeline.
Google’s move into hospitality comes after the company added its Nest products to the Advanced Protection Program, which is designed to offer end users extra security against malware and other cybersecurity threats. That may have ended up being an important part of its sales pitch to hotelier partners as protecting consumer data and privacy has become a matter of growing concern.
For its part, in announcing the hotel partnerships on its blog, Google emphasized the privacy protections afforded to end users.
“You won’t need to sign into the device, and no activity will be linked to your personal account,” wrote Product Manager Tom Franklin. “There is no camera on the Nest Hub, and the physical mic switch can be turned off for additional privacy. No audio is ever stored, and any activities will be immediately wiped from the device when it’s reset for the next guest.”
Source: The Keyword