Imagine a hotel where you can check in with your phone, use facial recognition to enter your room and be tended to by a smart assistant during your stay. Welcome to FlyZoo.

Most travellers are familiar with a certain set of inconveniences, things like long lines at check-in, lost keys or a staff that seem unmotivated to help.

Problems like these may soon become a thing of the past. Enter the FlyZoo Hotel.

Located in Hangzhou, China, the 290-room FlyZoo Hotel was built by Alibaba’s online travel platform, Fliggy, along with other Alibaba Group business units, such as Alibaba A.I. Labs and Alibaba Cloud.

The purpose of this new property is to leverage cutting-edge tech to help transform the hospitality industry and keeps it current with the digital era we’re living in.

“As smart technology is reshaping industries, the FlyZoo Hotel represents Alibaba’s endeavour to marry hospitality with technology and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” said Andy Wang, CEO of Alibaba Future Hotel.

THE FUTURE OF SMART HOTELS

At the FlyZoo Hotel, it all starts with the FlyZoo mobile app.

With it, travellers can book their stays, choose the floor they want and even the direction their room faces.

For foreign passport holders, check-in requires just a few simple steps at a kiosk with help from hotel staff. Chinese travellers can check in via the app and go straight to their room.

FlyZoo features a range of artificial intelligence-powered services to create a convenient, seamless experience for guests.

For example, after having their photos taken at check-in to verify their identity, guests can choose to use facial recognition – rather than keys and key cards – to access the hotel.

That means everything from using the elevator to entering their room is as easy as smiling for the camera.

Each room is equipped with a Tmall Genie smart assistant, which helps guests adjust the temperature, lights, curtains and the TV, plays music and answers simple questions – such as “What is the Wi-Fi password?” – all with a simple voice command.

If guests need fresh water or new pillows, Tmall Genie can handle that as well, and the items will be delivered by an Alibaba-made robot.

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