Meet Connie, the New Robot Concierge — a Pilot Program by Hilton Worldwide and IBM
H ave you met Connie yet?
Connie is the newest employee of Hilton Worldwide whose job is to be a concierge and will work alongside team members of Hilton hotel and resort properties to assist with requests from visitors; personalize the guest experience; and empower travelers with more information to help you plan your trips.
In fact, Connie is so special that he was named after Conrad Hilton, who founded the Hilton brand of hotels.
Oh; and Connie is also a robot with cognitive powers who is powered by Watson — which was developed by IBM — and the extensive travel domain knowledge provided by WayBlazer to inform you on local tourist attractions; recommendations for dining establishments; and hotel features and amenities.
You can meet Connie near the reception area at the Hilton McLean hotel property in Virginia. During this joint pilot program, Connie is learning to interact with guests and respond to their questions in a friendly and informative manner — and the more guests interact with Connie, the more it learns, adapts and improves its recommendations. The hotel will also have access to a log of the questions asked and answered by Connie, which can enable improvements to the experiences of guests before, during and after their stays.
Robot Concierge: The Latest in a Trend
Connie may be the first robot hotel concierge enabled by the Watson technology by IBM; but it is certainly not the first robot to be employed by a lodging company.
Introduced back in August of 2014 by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Incorporated and meant to serve guests in addition to tradition customer service and not to replace human staff with automation and technology, Botlr is a robot which stands three feet tall and delivers small items to your room; as well as requests your input on its on-board computer touch screen. The Aloft Cupertino hotel property was testing Botlr for an undetermined period of time.
Marriott International also has been dabbling with futuristic technology in the form of a transporter — which was unveiled in September of 2014 — where you can virtually experience sensations and sights from places around the world as though you were there, speculating that it could possibly be the future of travel.
Much of the technology being introduced by lodging companies over the past two years may have a promising future once they are fully developed; but they are little more than gimmicks in their present forms.
They are also not meant to replace human employees; but that remains to be seen. Time will also tell as to whether or not deeper guest engagement — as well as a transformation of brand engagement and loyalty — will occur as a result of Connie or other technology being trialled by lodging companies.