Alibaba hotel unveils face recognition room entry

Man looking at lift screen

Chinese technology and retail group Alibaba has opened a hotel which uses the facial recognition biometric to secure guests’ rooms and the lifts.

Guests at the FlyZoo Hotel in Hangzhou, China, can choose to have their face scanned when they check in and be authenticated by cameras in the lifts and their hotel room door for room entry.

They can also book, choose their room location and the direction in which it faces using a mobile app. Chinese travellers can check in using this app while other nationals can use fast check-in at reception area kiosks.

Other technologies at the hotel include a Tmall Genie smart speaker in each room. This enables guests to control lighting, curtains, room temperature and the TV as well as answering questions, taking housekeeping requests and room service orders, which are delivered by a hospitality robot.

Alibaba says the technologies aims to free staff from routine tasks so that they can concentrate on giving guests a better experience, while showcasing the benefits of embracing digital technology for the hospitality industry.

FlyZoo Hotel was built by Alibaba’s online travel platform Fliggy, along with other Alibaba Group businesses including its artificial intelligence laboratory and Alibaba Cloud.

“As smart technology is reshaping industries, the FlyZoo Hotel represents Alibaba’s endeavour to marry hospitality with technology, and ultimately inspire and empower the tourism industry to embrace innovation,” says Alibaba Future Hotel CEO Andy Wang.

A video produced by Alibaba shows the FlyZoo Hotel face recognition system in action.