Hilton has started employing the hotel industry’s first Watson-enabled robot concierge.
In partnership with IBM, the hotel group has introduced “Connie” – a new robotic helper who can greet guests and provide information amenities and attractions.
Connie, which named after company founder Conrad Hilton, marks the first time IBM has developed robot for the hospitality market. She will now work alongside Hilton’s other staff to provide information and directions using information from Watson, IBM’s question-answering computer system.
Currently stationed in the reception area at the Hilton McLean in Virginia, Connie is able it to greet guests upon arrival and to answer questions about hotel amenities, services and hours of operation. And tapping into WayBlazer, IBM’s Watson-powered travel directory, Connie can also suggest local attractions outside the hotel.
And the more guests interact with Connie, the more she learns, so that her recommendations and answers gradually improve over time.
The deployment of Connie marks the latest example of hospitality companies using robots to improve customer service; Costa Group recently signed a US$1 million deal to roll out guest-serving robots called Pepper on its cruise ships, and a robot named Spencer was recently trialled at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.