After six months in quarantine, many are trying to figure out new ways to itch their travel bugs in a safe and easy manner. Many hotel chains across the country have implemented dozens of new health and safety procedures to ensure all guests and employees feel comfortable when staying at their establishments.
Google has recently announced that they want to take the hotel experience to the next level while we continue to battle this pandemic. The goal is simple; allow travelers to still feel a sense of luxury and relaxation while vacationing during a time that requires us to stay indoors and isolated at all times. To accomplish this, Google has teamed up with some hotels in both the United States and United Kingdom to launch their new hospitality solution technology, which will allow hotel-goers to enjoy a more hands-free experience when relaxing in their rooms.
The hotels that have decided to partner with Google will provide a Google Nest Hub in each room. The Google Nest Hub’s are a part of Google’s line of smart home technology, meant to make life all around easier and hands-free.
The hub’s in the room can be easily used to request basic hotel services, confirm local restaurant and shop hours, make reservations at said restaurants, get weather reports, information on local tourist attractions/things to do, or even control the lights and heating in the rooms. All of that can be done with a simple “hey google” voice command.
Guests can also use the hub to make their hotel stay as specific as they wish. This means they can request the hub to schedule a wake up call, ask for extra towels, more water or ice, etc. Some hotels will also set up Google Assistant within the room so that guests can check out using the hub, avoiding even more person-to-person interaction.
The hub is also meant to be used as the main entertainment center for the room. Guests can easily access and control the YouTube app to find breaking news, music, videos, etc., they can even connect their phones via Bluetooth to play their own music.
Google has ensured that all hubs don’t have any cameras, and customer identities will remain fully protected with the new technology, the same way it would be protected in a traditional hotel experience. The hub requires no sort of account sign in to work, and the microphone can be physically turned off for customers who don’t want to use the assistant at all. Google also released an official statement claiming that no audio would ever be recorded or stored from the hubs.
As of right now, only a handful of hotels in both the US and UK have begun implementing this technology, but Google claims that they will be announcing more partnerships in the future. Current participating hotels include the Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort in Calistoga, Calif., Gale and Shelborne South Beach in Miami, Fla., Hotel Zena and Viceroy D.C. in Washington, D.C., Village Hotels in the U.K., and Gansevoort Meatpacking and Synergy Chelsea in New York City.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.