Properties / Hotels

Meet Connie, Robot Concierge at Hilton

He’s friendly, he’s tiny and he’s not a “he” at all. Powered by IBM Watson, this pilot program is sign of things to come…

Mar 13, 2016 | By AFPRelaxnews

The world’s largest hotelier by rooms, Hilton Worldwide Holdings has a new claim to fame: a child-sized robot concierge. Yes this is a real thing that is happening now at the Hilton McLean in Virginia, USA as part of a pilot project with IBM’s supermachine Watson.

Charmingly named after Hilton’s founder Conrad Hilton, “Connie” can be used by guests to field questions on local tourist attractions, dining recommendations, hotel features and amenities at the Hilton McLean.

Connie will greet guests and answer questions using a combination of Watson’s APIs including Dialog, Speech to Text, Text to Speech and Natural Language Classifier.

Believe it or not, Hilton is only the latest hotel to “hire” a robot among its staff, in a worldwide trend that’s aimed at reducing labor costs and capitalizing on the latest technologies.

In 2014, Starwood’s Aloft brand introduced ‘Botlr’ to the front lines, a roving robot used mainly to deliver amenities to guest rooms. Botlr works at the Cupertino location not far from tech giant Apple.

And last year, Japan opened the doors to the world’s first fully automated, robot-staffed hotel with the Henn-na Hotel, where guests check in, check out, get their rooms cleaned and their luggage conveyed by a fleet of blinking, beeping and rolling robots.