In an effort to facilitate foreign language communication between travelers and those that serve them, ALICE, a mobile service-on-demand platform for hospitality, launches the industry's first-ever app with real-time translation built into every interaction between hotel guests and staff.
"No matter where you come from or what language you speak, ALICE now enables guests and staff from different parts of the world to interact in real-time via our mobile technology," said Alex Shashou, co-founder and president of ALICE. "This important functionality allows hotels to forge stronger connections with guests by allowing them to communicate in their language of choice. It also provides better service since nothing gets 'lost in translation.'"
The traditional approach to translation is a manual process and applies only to static content, individual words and phrases, but ALICE sets out to blend real-time and manual translation in a seamless way.
"Since we are focused on delivering a real-time, service-on-demand infrastructure, our language solution could not just support the static content like most solutions,” said Dmitry Koltunov, the company's CTO. “We needed to translate the details of each request that's placed, the special notes that guests provide, and the chat messaging that happens between guests and staff, all in real-time. This very ambitious project has taken the team nearly a year to complete. Our mission is to use technology to improve the way that services are delivered. Reducing the language barrier is a huge step towards achieving that."
Traditional approaches to translation in hospitality leverage translators exclusively, making it expensive and ineffective for real-time interactions. To overcome these inefficiencies, ALICE has developed a solution that elegantly blends manual translation and machine automation, leveraging cutting-edge machine-learning technology to ensure constant improvement. The more the service is used, the "smarter" and stronger it will become. The service will be offered in 30 languages and is available across the entire ALICE suite, including its free-form text functionality. This means that a guest can send a message in German to an Italian-speaking hotelier, who, through the ALICE app, will receive the message in Italian. When he or she replies the message will be translated to German for the guest.
ALICE currently works with properties on three continents, from Shangri La's Hotel Jen in Australia to the Setai in Miami. These hotels attract travelers from around the globe that rely on ALICE to help facilitate superior service, better understand their guests, and make improvements based on aggregated guest data.