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China’s Alibaba opens ‘hotel of the future’ with automated check-in, biometrics and voice-control
Chinese tech giant Alibaba has unveiled what it calls a hotel of the future in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Open to the public since December 2018, the 290-room hotel is called FlyZoo, a name playing on a Chinese phrase meaning “it’s a must to stay here”. Guests can check in and unlock hotel rooms with facial-recognition technology; television, lighting and room curtains are voice-controlled; and room service orders done via Tmall Genie smart speakers are delivered by robots. Alibaba says the suite of high-tech features will drastically cut labour costs and reduce the need for guests to interact with other people.