Technology Robots, AI, IoT and Technologists

Technology   Robots, AI, IoT and Technologists

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It's Brendon, your Technology Concierge today I'm joined by Max Starkov all the way from the US and we're talking about a number of things. All things technology basically. Good Morning Max, how are you? Hey, Good Morning from New York City. How are you Brendon? Max, we touched on robots and as you said I'm actually surprised that they can handle 150 of 175 tasks that housekeeping do. I've spoken to a few hoteliers about robots and

in particular five-star hotels are currently of the opinion that robots are not for them and probably never will be. They were the same people that told me 10 years ago that mobile check-in and mobile key would never become part of their operation as well. What are your thoughts? I mean where do you see a place for robots is it limited service and in five-star properties, they will be there but they'll be behind the scenes, helping front-facing staff deliver better service. Yeah, I mean let's put it this way. First of all if you follow the steps of this Japanese hotel Hennan if you remember 350 robots basically the fully robotic operation of the hotel. Yeah. I think that you'll be making a major mistake. Yes. That's not where we are today. First of all the robots themselves as Hennan discovered this are not good enough. Yes. But simple as that. So the way that I see it is a robot

should be introduced very carefully after careful considerations and in places where they already excel. And I'll give you one example. You have the Tipsy robot, which is a bartender. It's a bartending robot which replaces four bartenders. Wow, OK. And it's a major attraction in Las Vegas they have it in Europe and it's coming to New York City and so forth so in this sense in London they have it so what I mean is that this is a place where you can introduce a robot today. As far, as other places are if you operate a resort with you know big outside, you know gardens and like a big estate if you will, peace resort or golf resort then introducing let's say robot security guards. Yes. Robotic security

guards which are already in existence with in many of the Casinos in Las Vegas many of the airports in the United States you can see them. You know going back and forth. Knight Scope is the name of the company that specializes there. This definitely can be done today. I mean a security guard is 30 bucks an hour that's the salary. A robot is seven dollars an hour. No perks, no health insurance, no nothing. Seven dollars an hour 24/7. That's

what the robots do. So what I mean is that so this is some of the things that you can introduce today. Yep. Now for the for example of Food and Beverage already you have Piestro for example which is a complete robot pizza making, pizza making robot which produces a gourmet type of pizzas at I mean a very low price and very low cost. I would say and it replaces a full pizza restaurant. So if you're for example a hotel with some kind

of a Food and Beverage replacing the whole restaurant if you will with this Piestro robotic pizza-making machine it makes sense. So these are the things that can be introduced immediately today. Housekeeping you can introduce for example Rosie the cleaning robot by Maidbot. I mean two thousand hotels already use Rosie. It cannot prepare a room like a human housekeeper. But it can help a human housekeeper with some of the very mundane and very unpleasant if you will jobs. So what I mean is that so the way that I see it is more like not 100 robotic operation but Cobots. These are collaborative robots that work together with humans in the same team where the humans do certain things, yes and the robots do other things and hopefully the robots do the dirtier jobs you know the more dangerous jobs the more unpleasant jobs and the humans do more of a managerial job. And again the things that the robots still

cannot do. So that's how I see it progressing. So Cobots are definitely a way you know like humans plus robots teams. It already has been most of Amazon Warehouses they operate in a cobot type of arrangement humans plus robots. I would say in many manufacturing places that's

how it's been done. So that's not a new thing for the industry in general but in hospitality, this will be a new thing. So as far as the luxury hotels, I fully understand because I mean the personal touch the personal attention to the guest is paramount. I mean I'm a big fan of Mandarin Oriental for example so in this sense I understand where they're coming from. The way that I see it at luxury hotels is that they will maintain a human facade for the time being. Behind the curtains for example salad-making robots, line cooks that prepare the food so that the celebrity chef can focus on his magic. But the robots preparing,

cutting the onions and the and the carrots and the stuff that's not a job for humans. Robots can do this easily so I mean in the United States there's a chain which is like more than a billion-dollar evaluation chain Sweetgreen which is like a salad, yes, salad place with a lot of locations around the United States. So they have acquired a company that makes complete 100 per cent robotic restaurants. Everything from A to Z is made by robots and of course focusing on salads in this particular case. So they claim we will not fire even

a single person because I mean they have four or five people staff but we will allow our staff to be creative our staff to work with the clients and basically to improve customer service and so forth and let the machine do their thing which they do perfectly well. So you don't need people to cut you know potatoes and cucumbers because a machine can do this perfectly. Much better than a human you know more precise and so forth. So what I mean is that so the direction that I see at this point is you take what's already proven in the marketplace that already works as a standalone unit and you start from there. You implement there and you keep your human operations in all other aspects and then over time you introduce robots where or AI applications for example. It's not only robots when we're talking about robots I mean next-generation technology. Because

robots are machines that can do certain physical stuff but AI can do much better things. For example and I'll give you an example if you go to a hotel today and you need an extra pillow what do you do? You call the front desk and say hey can you send me an extra pillow, please. And then there will be first of all somebody has to pick up the phone, take this order and say okay room 405 needs an extra pillow and then if they remember they will call housekeeping and say hey go to room 405 and bring an extra pillow. So that's the current process if you have an issue resolution or guest communication system in place which is like a messaging service.

And there's so many players in this field. The guest using his own or her own smartphone will send a message to the hotel hey guys I need a extra pillow and then of course it's natural language processing technology which is AI, will decipher your message within milliseconds and say oh this is a housekeeping thing. If your bathroom is clogged or you know the light is out then it will decipher this and it will send it to engineering and so forth but it's all automatic. And then of course housekeeping sends a robot for example to bring it to your room the extra pillow or somebody personally brings it. It doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end of the month the manager can see, the General Manager can see what's wrong with our hotel I have 150 rooms and 150 requests for extra pillows yes so I better buy 150 pillows just put them in every room. So you have the analytics, you have a business decision that's already made for you by the analytics. So that's where AI for example

helps tremendously in exactly such issue resolution technology applications which are readily available in hospitality. They cost a dollar per room per month, two dollars per room per month depending on how complex and this and that. And guess how many independent hotels have those? 10 per cent. Really Ok. That's crazy because as software as a service there is literally you know no implementation. No we have no information and with the efficiencies and

guest service, the solution pays for itself. Of course. So my whole point is that so when talking about robots yes robots are needed I mean for example security, but security is not only a robot. Security if you have a mobile key system which automatically logs which door has been opened, by whom, at what time and so forth and keeps security so this is it has nothing to do with robots it's a secure mobility system if you will. And many of those mobile key companies they provide this type of system. So what I mean is that business processes, AI definitely IoT which is the Internet of Things, devices in the room in a similar room like yours where they you know the IoT devices they detect the temperature they detect whether there's somebody in the room itself. You know the

lighting and so forth and then again if you leave the room 30 seconds after that everything goes into like economy mode, into like a utility saving mode. The temperature goes to a certain level the lighting goes off and so forth and it's all automatic so there's no need for a human to go from room to room to check you know oh what happened. I mean did somebody leave the air conditioning on which is you know like so we're wasting energy. My point is that it's a combination of next-generation technology applications that include physical, like robots. It includes devices, like physical like IoTs, includes AI, includes, automation and the combination of them all actually is what a hotelier should be looking at. Not just focusing on some, how shall I put it being obsessed with robots for example like "Henn an" in japan. The hotel. So it's

the combination of many many factors and what for example, the Hilton & Marriott are working right now on the concept of the Smart Room. Yes. Where based on your loyalty member preferences, the room automatically adjusts itself to your preference. Which they know, of course, they know through the PMS, through the loyalty member and your preferences and your past stays. And again these are preferences that are automatically adjusted based on oh Mr Smith when he's on a business trip he likes A, B, C, D & E but when he's on leisure he likes you know five other things. So the system automatically knows that whether you're coming on business or leisure or “bleisure” the combination of the two. Or a business trip with leisure extension, for example. Yes.

And then it adjusts itself automatically to your liking. You know if you need extra pillows it automatically sends a request to housekeeping to bring an extra pillow. If you like a single malt scotch whisky the bottle is coming and right there you know with a bucket of ice. If you like this if you like that. Your Netflix login information is automatically logged into the TV set. And the temperature of course you like cooler, you like hotter, you like warmer, you like subdued lighting, you like extra bright lighting. All of this is changed

automatically and that's what actually hotels already have rooms like these Marriots and Hiltons. And you know Chris Nassetta the CEO of Hilton says that "there will come a time and it will come very shortly when you will know your room and the room will know you". So in this sense and that's the future of hospitality. And what's behind it is IoT devices definitely. Definitely robots you know delivery concierge type of robots to deliver all these things. Yes. Artificial intelligence, of course, I mean to remember all of this and second to make conclusions based on your behaviour, your past behaviour your preferences. And

again to be able to come up with perks and benefits and like different types of services that the system knows that you might like or you will like for sure 97 per cent chance that you will like x and so forth based on your past behaviour. So it will be a combination of next guest technologies. Not just of a single application. Yep Yep. So we need to look at it from a holistic point of view. Yes and then holistic point of view not only the technology but also holistic

point of view as far as the customer journey because the hotel whether the hotel realizes this or not the hotel interacts with the customer in the dreaming phase, in the planning phase. In the dreaming phase. When somebody says oh I just saw this article, this blog, this posting on social media about this amazing hotel in the Bahamas or in Tobago or in whatever. Yeah. And so that's why that's the dreaming phase and then okay let me see do we have the time, when can we go this is the planning phase. Where exactly what how are we going to get there flights and then, of course, the hotel is the hotel that we want to stay in, is it very expensive, is it cheap. You saw the planning phase and then of course the booking phase then the stay phase and then the post-stay the sharing the retention phases so the hotel interacts one way or another in all of those phases so that's where you have to analyze and see what kind of technology, what type of technology applications, what kind of efficiencies sometimes you know I mentioned it's not even technology. It's like finding a better description

on your own website. Or coming up with a with a like local activities guides tours activities experiences attractions guide and positioning the hotel as the center of the local universe. Sometimes that's all it takes. But again so that's why it's not just pure technology it's not some futuristic you know like a science fiction type of technology implementation that will solve our problems it's a very comprehensive very holistic. I would say approach and ultimately if you look at it shouldn't be that expensive. Because

many of the things are simply brainpower, expertise. And you can hire this we can rent this expertise from outside. I mean I don't even for a second think that a hotel a hotelier has to develop has to know IoT devices. How they work, how they talk, how they interact with the PMS or let's say AI, oh my god where do I start. Natural language processing, machine learning, AI what is the difference how do I start with all of those. No, you don't have

to do that. There are vendors outside that specialize. Smart vendors all you need to do is to have a young person, like technologists as we call it here in the United States. Somebody who is not an IT but somebody who understands the business applications of technology. And

somebody who will be your leader in this whole transformation. Max, I really appreciate your time and knowledge. Thank you so much, it's been a pleasure. Brendon, you're more than welcome and don't be a stranger you know where to find me.

2021-11-30 10:23

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