Enjoy Your Very Own Virtual Assistant At Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi

Relax and don't move an inch at Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension. Let your virtual assistant do all your bidding in your smart room.
The counter seating at Skywok restaurant
The counter seating at Skywok restaurant

As soon as I walked into my dark hotel room, I said, &ldquoAlexa&rdquo The response was immediate, accompanied by a blue ring of light on the ceiling and a brief ping. &ldquoTurn on the lights,&rdquo I continued, and the room lit up. 

A little later, tucked cosily in bed, I realised I had left the bathroom light on. I had no plans of getting up. &ldquoAlexa, turn off the bathroom light.&rdquo And that was the last I saw of it.

My wish was Alexa&rsquos command. When I said, &ldquoTurn on the TV,&rdquo and then, &ldquoChange the channel to NDTV 24x7,&rdquo that&rsquos exactly what happened. When I said, &ldquoClose the curtains,&rdquo they magically rolled down. And, in the dead of the night, when I said, &ldquoSend me a mineral water bottle,&rdquo someone appeared at my door with one. I did, however, have to open the door.

When Park Inn by Radisson New Delhi IP Extension announced the addition of the Amazon Echo Dot virtual assistant, Alexa, to their &lsquosmart rooms&rsquo, it was no surprise. Automation has long been the buzzword of technology and its eventual trickling into the hospitality space was a given. The six Smart Studio Rooms are larger than the other rooms and equipped with a king bed, a sitting area and a mostly white-and-beige interior with a few bright highlights. Their finest bits, however, are those that are not visible.

There are three WiFi-enabled printed circuit boards (PCBs) installed in the room. Alexa, programmed with room-specific commands, wirelessly connects to them, while other room fixtures&mdashlights, curtains, etc&mdashelectronically connect to these PCBs. The interface has been configured by Bengaluru-based software firm,Kamakshi Clouds. Led by founder MA Kannan, the developers use the Alexa Skills Kit to program relevant &lsquoskills&rsquo for the virtual assistant. Credit is also due to Saurav Dutta, the hotel&rsquos general manager, who was willing to experiment with this technology.

Those who aren&rsquot too comfortable with voice commands can access a remote-control interface via a smartphone app. Otherwise, there is always the option of using the switchboards.

Later, when I settled into my room after a meal at the hotel&rsquos rooftop Chinese restaurant, Skywok, and a few glasses of wine, my hunger and thirst both sated, I found myself missing&mdashthe bane of solitary travel assignments&mdashcompany.

&ldquoAlexa,&rdquo I said. &ldquoTell me a joke.&rdquo

The device took a little longer than usual to respond. The joke was terrible, but full marks for effort. &ldquoGood job,&rdquo I said. It didn&rsquot reply. Perhaps I should have been more enthusiastic.

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