Leveraging their respective strengths in the hospitality market, LG Electronics and Amazon have co-developed the first integration of Amazon’s popular Alexa AI with LG hotel TVs using the powerful webOS™ smart TV platform, the companies announced at HITEC 2022, the world’s largest hospitality technology trade show.
“We believe the intuitive and accessible nature of voice and Alexa has the potential to help and delight customers in many scenarios, in and outside of the home,” said Liron Torres, Head of Alexa Smart Properties, Amazon.
“We’re excited to extend the Alexa hospitality experience customers already love across technologies that work together, seamlessly.”
Beginning later this year, hoteliers will be able to upgrade new and existing LG hotel TVs running webOS 6.0 or 5.0 to offer guests access to a custom Alexa solution through LG’s far field microphone array accessory. The new microphone solution allows hotel operators to offer a natural language interface for TV and music navigation while enabling guests to connect with specific hospitality functions such as ordering room service, pulling up a customized weather report or integrating with in-room devices for smart lighting, motorized window shades and climate controls, according to Richard Lewis, vice president of technology and research, LG Business Solutions USA.
“As leaders in our respective disciplines, LG and Amazon have combined our strengths and experience to deliver hospitality operators a premium voice-controlled TV and media solution that matches or exceeds the capabilities guests are accustomed to in their homes,” said Lewis.
“In addition to elevating the in-room experience for guests, this integrated TV solution simplifies property-wide system design and maintenance by eliminating the need for separate voice activated devices in the hotel room. With fewer total devices that require their own network connection, new installations can even achieve cost savings compared with existing multi-component voice-controlled solutions.”
The new solution was developed with guest privacy and security in mind. Properties do not have access to voice recordings, and the experience is anonymous, meaning information about the speaker’s identity is not shared with Amazon. The far field microphone array solution is also compatible with LG TV networks using Pro:Centric™ Direct software, through which the TV becomes a hub for control for compatible wireless smart devices, without requiring a standalone control system.
For properties, the solution offers staff another way to communicate important information to guests, while offering cost savings across device installations. Customers will experience a premium, streamlined experience across the devices in their room—without sacrificing utility, Torres said. For example, hotel operators can develop custom announcements that use both on-screen and audio communication for event announcements, check-out reminders and more.
The microphone array accessory is powered through a TV’s USB port and mounts to the top of the set. Unlike other voice-controlled solutions such as push-to-talk remote controls, LG’s far field microphone array is ready to respond to requests once it is activated by guests upon arrival using the Alexa wake word. A mute button offers a convenient way to turn off voice control for those who prefer to use a standard remote.
Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality solution is the hotel industry’s leading guest-room smart platform, customizing the hospitality experience so guests can access services and amenities more easily and quickly, using just their voice. LG Business Solutions is the clear market leader in the U.S. hotel in-room TV market, with a 61 percent market share for the first quarter if 2022, according to Omdia. This result follows a strong 2021 performance where LG’s market share grew to 54 percent for the year as a whole.