Seoul, Korea, is already climbing up in the ranks of preferred international meetings destinations. Now, the hotel industry is about to get a little bit smarter.
On Monday, technological innovator KT Corp. announced the country’s first artificial intelligence-centric hotel, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences. The project, backed by Accor Hotels, is one of the four hotel partnerships KT aims to form with brands such as Marriott and Hyatt by 2020.
The hotel, outfitted with 523 guest rooms, private residences, a rooftop pool and four meeting spaces, limits the traditional face-to-face interaction required between hotel staff and the guest.
Guests can remotely control lighting, heating, room service and amenities using a QR code assigned to each room. GiGA Genie Hotel—the hotel’s AI provider, which is comparable to Alexa and Alexa for Hospitality—displays users’ voice-activated commands on tablets or HD TV screens in Korean and English. A smart kiosk in the lobby briefs guests on hotel facilities, food and beverage options and a media wall lays out a sketch of the bustling Dongdaemun shopping district.
“We have created a hotel with an entirely innovative concept by converging KT’s latest technologies and luxury hotel service,” KT Estate Chief Executive Officer Choi Il-Sung said in a press release. “At our AI hotel, people can experience new services that cannot be found at any other hotels around the world.”
A Genie phone will complement the AI service, and is said to be ideal for those traveling from outside Korea. The device will be a virtual tourist guide supplying helpful tips, such as restaurant suggestions and lively attractions. Maps, calls and message functions are also distributed to guests when exploring the city.
The Novotel will also integrate KT’s AI smart building management system. The GiGAeyes is a video security and image analysis setup that scopes out intrusions in real time both inside and outside the hotel. Additionally, a 24/7 fire monitor, GiGAeyes provides safety.