SOME U.S. HOTELS are trying out a new technology from Google that could make it easier for them to greet and serve their foreign visitors. The online search giant’s Interpreter Mode will get a trial run at the Dream Downtown in New York, Caesars Palace Las Vegas and Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport.
The new Google Assistant function translates conversations in dozens of languages in writing or spoken using Google Home Devices and Smart Displays, according to Travel Weekly. Guests will be able to access the app at the participating hotels’ concierge desk or, in the case of The Dream Downtown, at registration as well.
The Dream also will incorporate the translator with its existing voice-activated management software from Volara.
“A guest service agent can respond to a guest in English, and it’ll come back out instantly in Mandarin, which allows for a perfect conversation,” said Dream Hotel Group CEO Jay Stein. “If we see great results, then we’ll look to roll it out company-wide.”
The Volara software will allow guests to use Google assistant to inquire about hotel information, concierge recommendations, or services. The two applications merge seamlessly, said Volara CEO David Berger.
“Our technology has long been helping guests with unique accents and distinct colloquialisms receive voice-automated service when they travel,” he said.
The Google Interpreter Mode premiered at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January.
“What we’re trying to aim for is for the technology to blend into the background, for people to be able to connect eye to eye and form a more personal connection,” Vincent Lacey, a product manager at Google, said in an interview with GeekWire at CES.
Lacey emphasized that the current hotel partnerships are just a pilot program and he could not guarantee it would become more widespread.
“I think it really depends on how successful this pilot is, and looking closely at user experience in terms of guest satisfaction and how much this changes the game for them,” Lacey said. “But certainly, going wider and having greater impact on users is something we strive for.”