Will robots take the place of concierges? Technology is an enabler, but people still need human connection. Robots aren’t going to be what consumers bond with. Empathy is a key thing that humans want, and robots can’t bring you that. Maybe you’re out all day working and want to come to a hotel and just go right to your room, but if you’re at a resort with your children, you want someone there to provide service. What you have to look at as well are the societal implications of automation. What’s an example? Facebook’s recent trouble with Russia creating political ads on its platform is a good example. You have to be concerned with that as a citizen, but also as a brand. At the pace automation happens, you have to be careful. Yet people want ease, so it’s important that there’s some kind of combination. What kinds of connected room innovations is Hyatt looking into? We are experimenting with things like mobile key entry and text notifications to make the check-in process easier. We want to let guests access their laptop content on TVs in their room and are looking into adding voice assistants like Echo. If I had an Echo in my hotel room, I would use it to control my air conditioning. Get the full story at Digiday