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Having captured the industry’s attention in 2017 by winning the coveted HTNG TechOvation Award, Angie Hospitality offers the only purpose-built 24-hour interactive guest room assistant with patented technology that has both voice control and touch screen interfaces—a comprehensive solution for hoteliers looking to increase guest satisfaction and operational efficiencies. The all-in-one Angie device is breaking barriers with a high-end voice interface that leverages natural speech technology to offer 24/7 guest services, telephony solutions, secure Wi-Fi access, and room control capabilities.
To gain more insight into the device and platform, as well as its extensive capabilities, CIO Applications spoke with Ted Helvey, CEO of Angie Hospitality, to understand the unique value proposition of the company and how properties can leverage Angie to deliver an outstanding hospitality experience.
Please tell us about the journey that led to the development of Angie.
My interest in the hospitality field began in 1999 after joining iBAHN, a company focused on providing high-speed internet to hotel properties. As adoption of Wi-Fi became more prevalent in the hospitality market, guests came to expect fast, reliable Wi-Fi access in their rooms. This in turn created pressure on hoteliers and Wi-Fi vendors to balance quality and cost. As CEO of the company, my main aim was to provide a solution that addressed the challenge of cost-effectively providing a new technology that met and exceeded guest expectations.
After iBAHN, I realized that solutions to this challenge applied to far more than just guest room Wi-Fi. There was a need for technology solutions that increased guest satisfaction and provided new revenue sources, while lowering costs and improving operational efficiencies for hoteliers. This led to the development of Angie, the first 24-hour interactive, cloud-based guest room assistant purpose-built for the hotel environment. Today, Angie provides solutions for room automation, energy management, secure and fully-encrypted Wi-Fi access, guest room phone replacement and more.
In creating Angie, our engineers worked to answer questions such as ‘Can Angie promote more guest engagement and seamless connections with the hotel staff?’, ‘Can it replace PBX phones, alarm clock, phone directory, and remote controls in the guest room?’ ‘Will it increase satisfaction while reducing cost of operations?’ and importantly ‘Can the device be self-monitoring and self-configuring? To all these questions, we were able to respond with a resounding ‘yes’.
The level of technological sophistication that Angie provides not only augments staff capabilities but also increases operational efficiency, and creates an excellent experience for the guests.
Could you shed some light on the other features that Angie is popular for?
The device has a highly intuitive multi-lingual voice interface and a high-resolution touch screen that provides 24/7 assistance to hotel guests. Angie’s robust language processing doesn’t require learned phrasing or commands that are unknown and unnatural for guests.
Voice is no longer a question of if, but when. Adoption provides avenues to enhance guest experiences and streamline operations
Leveraging genuine artificial intelligence and patented technology, Angie enables hoteliers to provide a highly personalized experience by remembering guest preferences across stays, presenting personalized messaging and rewards, and quickly responding to requests in an efficient way.
Guests are also provided with detailed information on the room, hotel and local area. Services such as ordering an Uber, booking a restaurant, getting directions or checking a flight status are facilitated.
Angie was designed from the beginning with security, privacy and guest permission in mind to provide peace-of-mind for both guests and hoteliers. Because guests need privacy options that allow them to interact in the way they are most comfortable, Angie includes the ability to completely deactivate the voice interface and still access all the device’s capabilities through the touch screen interface.
Angie can replace the alarm clock and guest room phone, integrate with IP PBX systems and provide a secure, customizable Wi-Fi access point. IR technology also allows Angie to control virtually any TV and change channels via voice.
Certified integrations with existing hotel systems such as Honeywell Inncom, iRiS, and INTEREL give Angie the ability to provide room control features, allowing guests to control the lights, drapes, thermostat, and other room amenities via voice. Combined with Angie’s occupancy sensors, utility costs can be reduced when rooms are unoccupied.
Integration with workflow systems such as Amadeus HotSOS streamlines standard guest service requests, freeing staff to focus on providing guests a human touch where it is needed most, improving operational efficiencies, while increasing both guest and staff satisfaction.
Angie includes high-fidelity Bluetooth speakers which can be used not only to play a guest’s own music, but to make hands-free calls from their mobile phones. Two standard USB ports and one USB-C port are provided to charge guest devices. Angie even offers a night light with various color choices, which has become one of its most popular features.
Please illustrate the proficiency of your device through a case scenario.
Hotels have leveraged Angie to implement in-room voice capabilities, provide a secure Wi-Fi platform and room control capabilities in a cost-competitive way compared to other industry solutions.
Easily accessible information about the room, property and local attractions frees staff to provide guests with personalized service where and when it is needed most.
The included alarm clock, USB charging ports and Bluetooth speakers have saved hoteliers from purchasing additional in-room devices to provide these capabilities.
Angie’s remote configuration, monitoring and upgrade capabilities minimize overhead and other costs for the property.
In summary, the addition of Angie into the guest room allows properties to provide a tech-savvy, high-end hotel room experience, increasing guest satisfaction while realizing cost savings and operational efficiencies.
What does the future hold for Angie?
We are constantly adding new commands and capabilities to Angie, based on hotelier and guest feedback. We continually work to improve our device’s natural language processing and to grow her multilingual capabilities. In addition to our existing integrations, our development team regularly evaluates and adds new integrations to continually improve the adaptability and utility of our device. Going forward, we are also actively looking for new partners to expand the Angie service offering to verticals beyond hospitality.