Wake-up calls and extra towels are things you'd traditionally call the hotel lobby to request, but Google wants to change it up a bit. The company already added Interpreter Mode for smart displays in hotel lobbies early last year, but it's now adding some hotel room-specific features to its Nest Hubs. A few hotels in the US and UK have already added Nest Hubs to their rooms.
Starting today, hotels will be able to work with Google to add certain features to Nest Hubs that guests would ordinarily have to call the front desk for. These include scheduling wake-up calls, requesting extra towels, asking when the pool will close, inquiring about current and upcoming specials, and so on — all with an intuitive "Hey Google" command. Some hotels will also be able to check you out quickly, as well as allow you to control devices like blinds, lights, and TVs in the room.
Nest Hubs in hotel rooms will also be able to function as a Nest Hub in your own home would; you can ask for the weather, learn about sightseeing in the area, get news updates, watch videos on YouTube, and so on. You'll also be able to connect your phone to play music via Bluetooth. Google is aware of potential privacy concerns; it should be noted that you won't need to sign in, no activity or audio is stored, there's no camera on the Nest Hub, and there's a physical mic switch that can be turned off.
Only a few hotels have added Nest Hubs at the moment. Those include:
- Fairmont Princess in Scottsdale, AZ
- Dr. Wilkinson’s Resort in Calistoga, CA
- Gale and Shelborne South Beach in Miami
- Gansevoort Meatpacking and Synergy Chelsea in NYC
- Hotel Zena and Viceroy in Washington DC
- Village Hotels in the UK (a chain of 31 hotels)
Google says that additional hotel partnerships are coming soon. It should be interesting to see how quickly Nest Hubs make their way into other hotels, as I'm sure management will be weighing the added convenience against the privacy concerns and increased cost.