Renowned for being at the forefront of technology, and having a love affair with robots and anything of that nature, Japan is offering a glimpse of the future with a hotel staffed almost entirely of humanoids.
What’s crazy is that this isn’t a joke or even a sci-fi movie. This is for real.
The Henn-na Hotel (whose name means ‘strange hotel’) is set to become the first robot-staffed hotel, when it opens this summer (due 17 July). The robots will check you in, take your bags, and escort you to your room, which you won’t even need a key for as the doors will be fitted with face recognition technology, allowing visitors to access their rooms using their appearance alone.
The mechanical service doesn’t stop there. The robots are designed to look like and share the mannerisms of ‘polite’ young Japanese women who will speak fluent Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English. They will also look like they are really breathing, blinking and making eye contact. (What’s also a little scary is the way they will be able to alter their body language and tone to respond to guests’ requests).
Guest will be able to call for robotic room service using a tablet instead of a phone, and the temperature of their rooms will be monitored with technology that detects body heat.
As much as this sounds like it’s out of this world and so far into the future, androids have already working in shops and restaurants it seems.
I had my first taste of ‘a robot service’ on board the launch of the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship last October when an automaton made me a cocktail. It was a bit cack-handed and unsteady when pouring my drink, but that was all forgiven just from the pure awe of it making my drink for me.
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