Siri and Alexa Are Fighting to Control Your Hotel Room

iPhone Siri Alexa Marriott

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Hotel rooms have become the latest battleground in the war between Amazon and Apple. Both companies are competing for the top spot in the growing smart home market, with their Alexa and HomeKit-powered platforms, respectively. According to Bloomberg, Marriott expects to decide on using one of the platforms — if any — in its hotel chains as soon as mid-2017.

Marriott International is reportedly testing smart home ecosystems from Apple and Amazon to see determine which digital assistant platform is best to control a hotel room’s features via voice command or smartphone — among them, a room’s lights, drapes, temperature, television, etc. The testing is taking at Marriott Aloft in Boston’s Seaport district — and uses a mix of iPhones and iPads for Siri, and Echo speakers for Alexa.

And Marriott isn’t the first company to bring so-called smart home devices into their establishment. Late last year, Wynn became the first lodging company to integrate Amazon’s proprietary Alexa assistant into its suites via Echo devices. According to Wynn, Alexa will be operational in rooms at its flagship Las Vegas hotel by this summer.

Marriott Aloft Boston Seaport

What remains to be seen is exactly how the digital assistants will be integrated. One decision, for example, is whether the smart hotel room ecosystems will allow guests to log in with their own accounts to personalize the experience. On the flip side, hotels could opt for outfitting the systems with a standard set of abilities that could enhance a hotel stay — which might be better for guests unfamiliar with smart home tech. And that’s just the start: in the future, the digital assistants could perform more concierge-like functions.

As far as which platform to bet on, there are a few considerations. Alexa is much cheaper — with an Echo Dot costing just $50, far less expensive than any Apple device with Siri. On the other hand, Alexa currently speaks just two languages: English and German. Siri, meanwhile, is fluent in over 21 languages, making it more of an ideal choice for international travelers and locations. Both platforms support a wide-range of different smart home products — although some brands, like Nest, don’t currently work with Apple’s digital assistant.

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