Voice-Activated Technology Being Piloted In Rooms At Seaport District Hotel

BOSTON (CBS) – A voice-activated hotel room is being piloted right here in Boston. And the creators hope it’s the voice of the future.

As soon as Eric Marlo enters a room at the Aloft Hotel in the Seaport district he says, “Hey Siri. Turn on the lights.”  And on they come.

Marlo is one of the brains behind the system.

“Definitely one of my babies, yeah,” he says.

Then he decides to change the mood in the room with another voice command, “Hey Siri. Relax.” And the lights change to a warm reddish tone.

It’s the first of its kind in Boston, active in 10 rooms at the Aloft Hotel.

“We’ve pulled components from Apple’s home kit and we brought it into the room and created the hospitality industry’s very first voice-activated guest room,” Marlo said.

Eric Marlo demonstrates voice-activated technology. (WBZ-TV)

Eric Marlo demonstrates voice-activated technology. (WBZ-TV)

It’s very straightforward to use. iPhone owners are used to it.

You just “teach” the system to recognize your voice, and now the hotel room is your domain.

“Will you set the thermostat to 70 degrees,” Marlo asks Siri. And the thermostat re-sets.

“It gives the guests the ability to change pretty much their full environment,” Marlo said.

You can ask for the time or weather, stream internet content on the television and look for local attractions.  “Hey Siri. Is there a good sushi restaurant in the area?” Marlo asks.  And you guessed it, there is.

“I am kind of a computer geek,” says Tom O’Keefe, who is also a hotel guest. “It’s very convenient when you walk in the room and have the lights turn on, and it’s fun.  I always like places that are trying and testing new technology and see where it goes.”

The Aloft Hotel charges a $75 premium for the rooms with the voice activation.

One of the future goals? You walk into your room, voice order a meal and a robot butler delivers it.

More from Lisa Hughes
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