Comments
Robot Room Service Hits Aloft Hotel Group
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/20/2014 | 7:44:48 AM
Re: Dehumanising of the "Experience"
I'm not going to pick on anyone who can't figure out a self-checkout scanner but I think a large part of the problem is comfort with that process.  I have no problem with them, even my kids can use them with high success rates.  There are people though that will be frustrated that things are not being done for them and any error is going to get hard for them to get over.  I think the longer the self service parts are there and the more people interact with them we'll see that need for human interaction drop.  Think about ATMs and pay at the pump gas stations.  I haven't gone into a gas station to pay for years.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
8/20/2014 | 4:09:39 AM
Re: What interaction?
SusanN, 

"I even take a moment to write a nice note for the housekeeper with my daily tip thanking her/him for the day's service."

But you are super nice. :) 

I didn't mean to say not to interact with all service people at hotels if you have the chance to see them. But you rarely see them. Although with your example now we see that it's not necessary to see them to interact with them. Again, you are super nice. :D

-SusanF
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 3:23:34 PM
Re: What interaction?
@susanf, @Angelfuego: I do try to interact with all service people at hotels, they can be really valuable sources of information about the local area and are typically delighted to be spoken to as fellow humans rather than treated as invisible service genies. I even take a moment to write a nice note for the housekeeper with my daily tip thanking her/him for the day's service.
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 3:19:58 PM
Re: Dehumanising of the "Experience"
@SaneIT: Having tried self-checkout at many supermarkets and always always seen someone require human intervention, and witnessed people completely flummoxed at transit pass vending machines, I can attest that human interaction is still needed for even the most basic transactions. I fear we may be giving humans more credit than we deserve at this point -- the weak link in human/machine interaction may not be the machines...
Susan_Nunziata
50%
50%
Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2014 | 3:16:47 PM
Re: Robots raise the bar
@Whoopty: while the geek in me loves the idea of having a robot deliver room servce, the human in me despairs for what this will mean to folks who have relied on these kinds of jobs in order to earn a living. The latter wins in my view, so I'd much rather see humans delivering room service. Then again, since most hotels charge a ridiculous amount for room service ($13 bagels, anyone?) I rarely order it anyway, so I'm not really helping am i?
Alison_Diana
IW Pick
100%
0%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
8/18/2014 | 3:29:36 PM
Re: Dehumanising of the "Experience"
That's a really good point and an important one, as technological capabilities improve and organizations look for new ways to cut costs. Part of the fun of travel is meeting new people, not necessarily robots, and the one-time novelty might be fun but wouldn't you rather have a short, pleasant relationship with hotel staff? Having just returned from vacation at a hotel we visit often, i enjoy seeing the same faces behind the front desk and in the coffee room. Not sure a robot would generate that feeling.
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 7:26:38 AM
Re: Dehumanising of the "Experience"
@ Shane,

 

I think you fall into the opinion that most people will have.  Transactional experiences may as well be machine based for us because quite often we're not looking for a bond with the person on the other side of the counter.  The medical part I can understand, things get personal when needles are coming at you but I guess I can turn that off.  I think there will always be a need for humans in the medical fields though because I don't think anyone wants a machine telling them they have 2 months to live after a cancer diagnosis for example.  There are some areas where we need a softer touch.
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
8/18/2014 | 3:31:02 AM
What interaction?
Angelfuego,

"I think it is impersonal and is another step in making us lack in the skill of interpersonal skills on a face to face basis."

I doubt anyone interacts too much with the person who delivers clean towels to their room. There is no interaction, or face to face anything with them. 

-Susan

 

 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
8/17/2014 | 2:46:55 AM
Adorable
How nice, Thomas. :)

If I lived in Cupertino I would pay a visit to the Aloft Hotel just to see A.L.O. in action.

"If you give it a high rating it does a little dance," said Cousins. "Part of this is about delighting the guest." 

No doubt about it. I can just imagine how adorable A.L.O. would look doing a little dance. :D

In the future, having a model with arms could allow A.L.O. to load the items into its cargo space itself, becoming more independent from hotel staff. Allowing video chat between A.L.O. and the front desk would be a good add, too, something like the robots in healthcare already do when visiting patients allowing them to speak with their doctor through video chat.

The idea of implementing a service robot in the hotel chain is good. The unit chosen seems to be quite basic, though probably enough for what it is expected to do. 

All in all, an adorable idea. :) 

-Susan
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
8/15/2014 | 10:49:24 AM
Re: Dehumanising of the "Experience"
I'm with SaneIT. I don't need the human touch when I'm processing and verifying information -- hotel check in, food pick up etc. These are rarely meaningful exchanges so automating parts of the service industry doesn't feel dehumanizing to me. That said, I'm never letting a robot put a needle in my arm. I don't even want a human putting a needle in my arm, but if it's got be done I want human.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>


The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - September 10, 2014
A high-scale relational database? NoSQL database? Hadoop? Event-processing technology? When it comes to big data, one size doesn't fit all. Here's how to decide.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.