The future is now. Well, soon. As tech giants like Alibaba partner with hospitality conglomerates like Marriott International, we will soon see and experience an integration of technology that was only portrayed in sci-fi movies.
A self service facial recognition check-in pilot is being launched this month at the Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang and Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, with the goal of a global rollout across Marriott International's properties in the future.
You can head to the either location and be greeted by a kiosk where you scan your IDs, take a photo and input your contact details. The machine dispenses room key cards after identities and booking information is verified. Apparently this cuts a three minute wait time down to one minute. Not bad if you've ever suffered through long check in waits with grumpy family members in tow.
Alibaba and Marriott decided that the joint venture pay-after-you-stay booking platform called Post Post Pay was working well with Chinese travellers, so a natural next step was to bring facial recognition into the mix. Just make sure you have a decent social credit score before attempting to use the system.
It shouldn't be long before this kind of technology shows it's face in North America and perhaps to the entire world.