Thus far, Alibaba Group has been revolutionary in every aspect of the business world. Their e-commerce platform attracts an enviable amount of traffic, with millions around the globe earning a living from it.
Under the leadership of Jack Ma and fellow co-founders, the multinational conglomerate has grown from strength to strength. As you would expect, they are hardly done yet, and this time, they’ve taken things up a notch. Don’t they say go big or go home?
Hat in the Ring
Earlier in the year, Alibaba threw its hat in the hoteliers’ ring by opening FlyZoo Hotel. You must be thinking that this is hardly an achievement given the high standards that the conglomerate has already set for itself, but you don’t have all the facts yet, do you?
Located in Hangzhou, China, the hotel has been described as where technology and hospitality meet. The establishment is light years ahead of current players in the market, especially since it is driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI).
You know how in a regular hotel you need a keycard to access your room? At the FlyZoo Hotel, that’s a thing of the past. Facial recognition is the new normal in Hangzhou.
If you aren’t impressed yet, wait till you learn that the entire checking in process is a self-service affair. Guests make reservations and payments all through a smartphone app (FlyZoo), and upon their arrival, there are self-service check-in kiosks where they fill in their details. They can then proceed to their rooms, which only open if they recognize their faces.
You must admit that all this is really fancy, right? And it gets even better. Robots run almost all the operations in the hotel, primarily serving food and fetching toiletries. Their services are not limited to this though – the guest simply has to put in a request and get to know if it meets the scope of what these robots are able to deliver.
So how did they put all of this together? The hotel was a collaborative effort from different factions of the Alibaba Group, including Fliggy, their online traveling platform, as well as Alibaba Cloud and the conglomerate’s AI Labs. The goal was to transform the industry, and we dare say that this objective has been met.
As for the group overseeing FlyZoo, it is obviously a faction within the conglomerate, specifically the Alibaba Future Hotel. Andy Wang happens to be this group’s CEO, and he definitely had something to say about the hotel that has brought the future to us.
Marrying Technology with Hospitality
According to a press release, Wang admits that smart tech is revolutionizing industries and that Alibaba is committed to marrying technology with hospitality. With this move, the Group hopes to inspire related industries such as tourism to embrace and accept innovation.
As you would expect, the FlyZoo design is as exquisite as they come, specifically crafted to appeal to the modern traveler. With a total of 290 rooms, you must agree that it can accommodate quite the crowd and without disappointing any individual.
How so? Well, for one, the FlyZoo app offers a virtual tour to whichever room that might please you, so you make your selection based on first-hand information. What you see is what you get.