Alibaba FlyZoo Hotel Uses Facial Recognition and Robots

Welcome to the hotel of the future. Well at least Alibaba’s version of it. It’s called the FlyZoo. Located in Hangzhou, China, the boutique hotel features the latest in technology from facial recognition to autonomous delivery robots.

Almost everything in the hotel is run by artificial intelligence as guests may not see a human worker their entire stay. Booking is done through the app where guests can select the floor and what type of view they want.

Check in is done by simply scanning their face into the app. No need to grab a key at the front desk. Guests once again scan their faces at the elevator which then takes to them to the appropriate floor. Yet another face scan allows them to enter their room.

Alibaba Robots Deliver to Room

If visitors need anything like extra pillows, towels or snacks all they have to do is tell Alibaba’s voice assistant Ask Genie. A three feet tall robot will then make the delivery. Ask Genie is Alibaba’s version of Amazon’s Alexa which is used in the company’s popular Tmall Genie smart speaker.

The smart speaker can also do things like control the temperature, lights, curtains, and TV. It can even play music and answer simple questions such as “What is the WiFi password?”

Alibaba Flyzoo Hotel - YellRobot
credit: Alibaba

Hotel Restaurant Staffed by Robots

If guests get hungry or thirsty they can head to the hotel’s restaurant where a robot sits behind the bar mixing drinks. When they are ready for food, just put a request in with the FlyZoo app and robots will deliver the meal. If guests don’t feel like taking out a wallet, they can scan their face which will then charge everything back to the room.

When it’s time to check out, guests can just pack and go. No need to wait on any lines. If they have to leave early, they can choose to tell the hotel in advance by using the app. Rooms will automatically be released after check-out.

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

Alibaba Flyzoo Hotel - YellRobot
credit: Alibaba

Guests Can Buy Items in Hotel by Taking Pictures

Of course since it’s an Alibaba hotel, guests will be able to buy stuff. If they like an item in the hotel like a piece of furniture just take a picture with the app and it will be added to their shopping cart.

According to the hotel, the hi-tech features help increase efficiency and user experience while cutting down on workforce costs. There are a few humans still working in hotel such as the kitchen and cleaning staff.

“Our use of intelligent facilities coupled with digital management and operational systems means that hotel employees can focus on providing guests with a level of service that goes the extra mile,” Wang said.

The 290-room hotel was built by Alibaba’s online travel platform, Fliggy, along with Alibaba A.I. Labs and Alibaba Cloud. As far as pricing goes, a night in the FlyZoo costs around $200 US.

Check out our articles on robots that pick apples and ones that serve coffee.