Marriott, Alibaba trial facial recognition at China hotels
17 July 2018 15:50 GMT

Chinese guests at Marriott International, the world’s largest hotel chain, may soon be able to check in with a quick scan of their facial features.

The chain will work in a joint venture with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to test facial recognition check-ins at two China hotels this month, the firms said on Wednesday.

The joint venture said the new technology would help guests jump queues and cut the check-in process to less than a minute, compared to at least three minutes at a normal counter.

Chinese guests will need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on an automated machine, the firms said. The device will then dispense room key cards after verifying identities and booking information.

The trial will roll out at two Marriott hotels in Hangzhou and Sanya on the tropical island province of Hainan.

In September last year, Yum China’s KFC launched a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at a store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, looking to lure in tech-savvy younger consumers.