GiGA Genie Hotel Platform Offers Fresh Experience for Guests; KT to Open Three More Hotels and Provide AI Platform to Others.
SEOUL, South Korea - KT Corp., South Korea's largest telecommunications company, is pioneering a new era in the hospitality industry with its innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
KT opened the first hotel in the country offering AI-assisted room services in Seoul, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences, last month. The company plans to open three more similar hotels across the capital city by 2020 in partnership with major global hotel chains such as Accor, Hyatt and Marriott.
"We have created a hotel with an entirely innovative concept by converging KT's latest technologies and luxury hotel service," KT Estate Chief Executive Officer Choi Il-Sung said. "At our AI hotel, people can experience new services that cannot be found at any other hotels around the world."
The new AI service platform -- named GiGA Genie Hotel -- is a customization of GiGA Genie, the world's first AI-powered smart home media hub developed by KT in January 2017. Boasting more than 1 million subscribers, KT's voice-activated AI platform allows users to see what they command on touch screen devices or UHD TV screens mainly in Korean and English.
The AI-powered hotel has 523 rooms, a rooftop swimming pool and several F&B outlets, including the all-day Food Exchange, a lounge bar called Gourmet Bar and The Social 21, a poolside bar. The hotel is owned by KT Estate Inc., a subsidiary of KT's real estate business. Accor Ambassador Korea will manage the hotel in accordance with AccorHotels' global operating standards.
To diversify its future revenue portfolio, KT also plans to provide its AI platform to other hotels, including Marriott. The first hotel to adopt the platform was L'Escape, a boutique hotel opened by South Korean retail group Shinsegae Inc. in downtown Seoul last month. The Genie platform can also be used in apartments, resorts and hospitals.
Genie System Fulfills Wishes
GiGA Genie Hotel is a multi-functional, voice-recognizing infotainment system. The hotel rooms' lights, temperature controls and TV respond to voice commands such as "Genie, please set the room temperature to 20 degrees." Toiletries and other supplies may also be requested by voice.
Commands can now be accepted in Korean and English, and additional languages, including Chinese and Japanese, will be added. KT also plans to provide more concierge services for the Genie Hotel platform, such as checking hotel bills, checking out and paying for the mini bar and room service.
Genie Phone Provides Local Information
Guests of the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences can also rent a free Genie Phone from KT roaming centers, either at Incheon International Airport or the hotel's check-in desk. It is a smart concierge device loaded with apps for local and overseas phone calls, using data, accessing transportation, information for tourists, controls for the room and tax refunds.
As a complement to the AI hotel platform, the smartphone, which provides a wireless Internet connection, is more useful for non-Korean guests. The Genie Phone is embedded with a wide array of tourist information, including tips on restaurants in nearby areas recommended by hoteliers, as well as information on major tourist spots and festivals, provided by the Korea Tourism Organization.
By updating the information for hotel guests, KT expects the Genie Phone to help boost both the local community and economy. The new hotel is located near the Dongdaemun fashion malls that are popular among foreign travelers, as well as modern art and historic sites and monuments.
Outside of hospitality services, KT is also applying its AI-based smart building management at the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences.
GiGAeyes, an intelligent video security and image analysis service, detects intrusions in real time, both inside and outside of the hotel. It also serves as an around-the-clock fire monitor. KT is also using KT-MEG, which optimizes energy management. KT-MEG visualizes energy consumption and analyzes big data to predict and control energy demands during peak hours.