As we all get more used to yelling out commands to digital assistants in our homes, we may one day expect to do the same thing when we're temporarily staying in other places - like hotels.
Naturally, Amazon and the rest of them are eager to step into the world of hospitality to take advantage of that in the future. And today, Amazon is doing just that with Alexa for Hospitality. It's a customized version of Alexa that will be housed in Echo devices in hotels, vacation rentals and other places.
Essential reading: How to delete Alexa's voice history
Amazon will customize Alexa to each location, so you'll be able to do things like order room service, request housekeeping, adjust the temperature, turn off the lights, or even ask what the pool hours are or when check out is.
Marriott International will be the first company to use Alexa for Hospitality, and plans to integrate it with its Marriott Hotels, Westin hotels, St. Regis hotels, Aloft hotels and Autograph Collection hotels. This isn't the first time Alexa has made it into hotels though - some, like Wynn Las Vegas, already have Echos in rooms. The difference is, those ones aren't specialized to work in the same way Alexa for Hospitality is.
And what about privacy? There are a couple of things Amazon is tweaking to make you feel more comfortable about using Alexa in a strange room where hundreds of other people have stayed. First, recordings of Alexa commands are deleted daily. Second, hotels aren't given access to Alexa's voice recordings and they can't view guest responses. And finally, hotels can only use analytics to measure engagement and can customize what services Alexa offers in their hotel, like iHeartRadio over TuneIn.
You'll also be able to temporarily link your own Amazon account to your temporary Echo, and Amazon says once you check out your link will be deleted. Some people might feel uncomfortable with that idea, so it's a good thing you don't have to have an account to make use of your hotel Echo - it'll just make you feel a little more at home if you do.