Samsung, Alice debut new smartwatch product for hotel industry

The solution helps personnel across the hotel improve responsiveness, a key component of service in the industry. Photo credit: Samsung (Samsung and Alice watch)

Samsung Electronics America and hotel operations platform Alice introduce a new hotel-management solution that uses smartwatches to improve staff communications, speed responsiveness to guests and enhance customer service. With connected, LTE-capable smartwatches easily accessible on their wrist, hotel employees in key operations, such as housekeeping, maintenance and bellman service, can manage customer requests and resolve incidents more quickly and efficiently across departments.

The wearable product was created by Samsung SDS, which is Samsung's software and solutions organization. The product combines the Alice hotel platform and a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch to help hospitality workers—who are often mobile—enhance productivity and guest service through 'hands-free' connectivity.

Luxury hotel company Viceroy Hotel Group brought together Alice and Samsung, and will be first to implement the digital solution to help Viceroy's employees.

With this solution, when a guest request or urgent need arises (i.e. towel delivery, broken toilet, luggage pickup), the department's employees receive silent vibration alerts via the smartwatch on their wrist. The appropriate employee can respond to and accept the task with a tap of the smartwatch, informing staff that someone is attending to the guest. Managers can efficiently track tasks in real-time until service is completed.

“This smartwatch solution provides a compelling tool for hotels, whose employees are often mobile, and require durable, hands-free operation for completing day-to-day tasks,” Eric McCarty, VP of B2B mobile product marketing for Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “With capabilities such as Samsung Knox built in, hotels not only have a wearable that keeps employees connected, but can be securely managed to meet specific business needs.”

Samsung and Alice's hands-free solution is ideal for hotel staff who need to handle objects and complete tasks with both hands, while keeping eyes focused on nearby guests. This includes maintenance workers on a two-handed repair job, room service carrying trays and housekeeping handling cleaning devices and who do not have instant access to phones. This also eliminates risks of dropping devices on the job, silences disruptive radio communications and does away with hotel "corkboard" check-ins.

“Samsung and Alice are not just delivering a watch as an access point into the hotel's infrastructure,” Alice President Alex Shashou said. “We are providing three main benefits to hotels, including returning time to the staff so they have more time to execute better service. We are giving the staff back their hands, so there is one less thing to carry or break. And with a hands-free wearable as their main communications tool, we are restoring eye contact to hospitality—enabling the smile between guest and hotelier that has so long meant hospitality.”

Viceroy Hotel Group will be first in the hotel industry to test the Samsung-Alice wearable solution. The hotel is deploying the Samsung-Alice smartwatch solution at its Viceroy L'Ermitage Beverly Hills property to provide staff with an easy-to-use device that is supportive of mobile workflows and contributes to customer satisfaction. With plans to roll out the wearable solution across their portfolio of hotels, Viceroy plans to shave minutes off each task-based request as a result of the smartwatch approach, increasing efficiencies.