The Real Deal New York

Room with a voice: Starwood incorporating Siri at Aloft hotels

Hospitality firm is piloting the voice-activated rooms in Boston and Santa Clara, Calif.

August 30, 2016 10:14AM

Aloft Santa Clara, one of the test properties for Project Jetson (credit: Starwood Hotels and Resorts) and Siri on the iPhone

Aloft Santa Clara, one of the test properties for Project Jetson (credit: Starwood Hotels and Resorts) and Siri on the iPhone

“Hey Siri, which massive hotel company is making a push to outfit its rooms with voice-control technology?”
Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ new “Project Jetson” program is allowing guests to talk to their rooms and program everything from the lights to the thermostat and sound system from their iPhones.

Using Apple’s voice-powered assistant, Siri, Starwood’s tech-focused hotel brand, Aloft, rolled out the pilot program of Project Jetson last week at its Boston’s Seaport and Santa Clara hotels, according to Bloomberg.

Two years in the making, Project Jetson has resulted in the “world’s first voice-activated guest rooms,” according to Eric Marlo, Aloft’s Global Brand Manager.

Eventually, Project Jetson will allow guests to control the entire room — room service, included — through their cell phones. In version 2.0 of the program, guests with insomnia, for example, will be able to program their rooms to dim the lights by 10 p.m. and play relaxing music.

In Project Jetson 3.0, Marlo said, guests will be able to save different preferences for business trips and vacations. The settings would be activated once a guest opens their door with one of Starwood’s Bluetooth-enabled locks.

There are some hurdles to overcome. Getting various technologies to work together is the biggest. Starwood’s locks, for example, rely on Bluetooth while Siri is powered by wifi. Project Jetson is not currently compatible with other voice assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa. It’s also not Android compatible.

The Real Deal reported earlier this month that tech-centric WeWork plans to turn its offices into giant gadgets. [Bloomberg] — E.B. S0lomont

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