Alibaba and Marriott trial check-ins with a difference

Ok, it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds for now. Photo credit – Pixabay

Alibaba and Marriott trial check-ins with a difference

A smile, so they say, will get you a long way.

Regardless of whether that’s true or not, a smile will now get you somewhere new… into a Marriott hotel room.

In partnership with Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant with a reputation for exploring new ways to implement cutting-edge technology, Marriott will soon be using facial recognition technology to let people check-in.

Ok, it’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds for now.

Firstly, the initial trial will see only two hotels, in Hangzhou and Sanya, adopt the technology.

Then, it won’t quite be a case of turning up and smiling.

Instead, guests will need to scan some ID and register on a system before photographs are taken.

After that, the facial recognition technology should enable them future check-in access.

It’s not the most significant technological advancement that Alibaba have ever come-up with, admittedly. However, it has the power to transform guest services across the hospitality sector in the future.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid