The next time you check into a Hilton hotel, you may find something surprising at the concierge desk. Instead of a human employee, the company is experimenting with a new customer service robot powered by IBM’s Watson.
Connie, named after company founder Conrad Hilton, is already up and running the Hilton McLean in Virginia. The robot, which is located at the hotel’s reception desk, can help you find a restaurant or a nearby park and give directions. The one thing it can’t do is check you in.
Physically, the robot is pretty small at just 58cm (roughly 22 inches) tall. It speaks in a child-like voice and costs about $9,000. Still, the Hilton thinks it’s worth the cost to stand out in an increasingly crowded market.
Will Connie be enough to take on competing hotels and startups like Airbnb? We’re not so sure but, for techies, this might be enough to convince you to spend a few nights at the Hilton.