Check-in with a smile: Marriott, Alibaba trial facial recognition at hotels

Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2018/7/12 21:18:41

Chinese guests at Marriott International, the world's largest hotel chain, may soon be able to check in with a quick scan of their facial features.

The chain will work in a joint venture with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to test facial recognition check-ins at two China hotels in July, the firms said on Wednesday, with ambitions for a global rollout later on.

China is spearheading the use of facial recognition for everything from helping control major live events to ordering fast-food, but also bolstering a growing domestic surveillance system.

The joint venture said the new technology would help guests jump queues and cut the check-in process to less than a minute, compared to at least three minutes at a normal counter.

Chinese guests will need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on an automated machine, the firms said.

The device will then dispense room key cards after verifying identities and booking information.

The pilot will roll out at two Marriott hotels are in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, and the other in Sanya, South China's Hainan Province.

In September 2017, Yum China's KFC launched a "Smile to Pay" facial recognition system at a store also in Hangzhou, looking to lure in tech-savvy young consumers, according to media reports.


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