The hotel chain is using identity-recognition capabilities from Alibaba to allow guests to check in without having to speak to front desk agents, expediting the process while also liberating human agents to perform more meaningful work

A long hotel check-in can be an annoyance to weary travelers who just want to get into their room and rest. With that in mind, Chinese technology giant Alibaba teamed up with Marriott Hotels to make the whole process quicker and more convenient.

Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, created facial recognition technology that allows guests to check in at a kiosk similar to those seen in airports. Once identity is verified, the machine then dispenses the hotel room keys allowing guests to access their room without having to speak to a clerk.

According to Marriot CEO Henry Lee, one major benefit of implementing this technology, in addition to streamlining the check-in process, is to free up hotel associates, allowing them to dedicate their efforts toward “delivering personalized service to our guests.” In other words, outsourcing select tasks to technology allows staff to engage in more meaningful work that better serves customers.

The program will be piloted in two locations in China, where Marriott’s research shows that travelers are very interested in new hotel technologies. If the pilots are successful, the hotel brand plans to take the technology worldwide.

Marriott International

A long hotel check-in can be an annoyance to weary travelers who just want to get into their room and rest. With that in mind, Chinese technology giant Alibaba teamed up with Marriott Hotels to make the whole process quicker and more convenient.

Alibaba’s travel arm, Fliggy, created facial recognition technology that allows guests to check in at a kiosk similar to those seen in airports. Once identity is verified, the machine then dispenses the hotel room keys allowing guests to access their room without having to speak to a clerk.