Aiello Voice Assistant (AVA), is a hospitality-focused AI solution for hotels developed by an up-and-coming Taiwanese company led by a former Google engineer as CEO. AVA is used in more than 60 hotel brands, covering over 8,000 rooms primarily in Asia. In Japan, AVA was introduced for the first time in Kyoto in March, and is already attracting a great deal of attention.

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Vic Shen, CEO of Aiello Inc..

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Built a career as a technician at American mobile communication technology company Qualcomm and the technology giant Google, where he contributed to the development of Google Home and Google Assistant. Recognizing the potential of natural language understanding (NLU) technology, Vic Shen founded Aiello Inc. in Taiwan in 2019 and took on the role of CEO. With their cutting-edge voice AI technology, the company has received numerous awards and gained attention as a rapidly growing enterprise.

In recent years, various AI voice recognition services have emerged. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are well-known examples. Could you please explain the differences between your AVA and these services?

The biggest difference is that while Amazon and Google provide services in the B2C (business-to-consumer) sector, we operate in the B2B (business-to-business) sector. AVA was originally developed to increase profitability for hotels. Therefore, unlike Amazon and Google, which target individual customers, AVA offers numerous benefits for hotels.

For example, AVA can automate and integrate hotel management systems (PMS), operation systems, reservation systems, task management, and more; providing a one-stop solution. Additionally, AVA serves as a hospitality-focused RPA (Robotic Process Automation) that can handle simple questions, requests from guests, external partnerships, and basic routine tasks like front desk operations on behalf of staff.

As a result, the workload has significantly reduced from 100% to 20%, alleviating staff burdens, resolving labor shortages, and allowing the remaining 80% of reduced workload to be allocated to high-level services that AI can’t replace. This enables hotels to provide even better hospitality.

Furthermore, by analyzing data through natural language understanding (NLU) and capturing intended needs, actions, emotions, and more within customer language, AVA can uncover hidden customer needs in daily routines. This information can be utilized for staff education and marketing.

Is the fact that AVA’s AI technology is independently developed by your company also beneficial for hotels?

Since each hotel has its unique way of operating, introducing AVA requires building IT systems in collaboration with hotel owners. Our company takes pride in possessing world-class technical expertise in AI and IT, and by constructing our own devices, we have confidence in our exceptional adjustment capabilities. Unlike companies that only sell devices, we can provide not only more tailored services to meet each customer’s preferences but also access all the Big Data collected by AI, greatly assisting in delivering services that customers truly desire. Additionally, as AVA accumulates data with increased usage, its potential becomes immense. We want to emphasize that AVA can solve various problems faced by hotels.

Moreover, installing AVA is as simple as placing it in the guest rooms. It is an attractive in-room amenity that aids in the hotel’s digital transformation (DX) as long as there is power and Wi-Fi in the rooms.

What are the benefits of AVA for hotel guests?

Since guests often ask staff for recommendations on local restaurants, our team members have personally visited and experienced various hotels to provide informed suggestions. 

Through AVA, which integrates a variety of hotel technologies, hotel guests can control various aspects of their room simply by using their voice. For example, they can open the curtains, turn off the lights, watch CNN on the television, and even give instructions to the housekeeping staff such as “Please do not disturb” or “Make my room.”

In addition to the IoT control functions, AVA serves as a 24-hour AI concierge, allowing guests to inquire about local tourist information, order room service, call the front desk using IP telephony, play music, set alarms, and more. The interaction is made easy through AI-driven voice communication, making it user-friendly and inclusive for all types of guests, including the ones who may struggle with technology. AVA enables the ultimate level of service with just one device.

AVA supports multiple languages, including Japanese, English, Chinese, and Thai, making it convenient for overseas guests. It has already been installed in over 8,000 rooms, ranging from international luxury hotel chains to high-end hotels, independent hotels, business hotels, and traditional Japanese inns, in countries such as Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Can we already find AVA in any hotels in Japan?

In March, AVA was deployed for the first time in Japan at Gion Elite Terrace, a luxury boutique hotel located in Kyoto. Targeting the high-end market, this hotel features 38 rooms with a pleasant atmosphere that combines natural materials and Kyoto’s art, along with the latest technology. This is the kind of guest experience we strive to provide with AVA.

AVA has gained significant popularity in Taiwan, where many hotels have already adopted it, and guests have become accustomed to its functions and utility. Although AVA has recently entered the Japanese market, we are already working with several hotel owners. We have confidence that AVA will contribute to the digital transformation (DX), leading to higher-quality services in Japan.

What are your goals for the Japanese market this year? And how do you plan to expand globally?

We are fully committed to the Japanese market. Our goal for this year is to install 3,000 AVA units. Additionally, we will integrate AVA with other hotel technologies such as Japanese IPTV, PABX, and PMS, to create a seamless and stress-free operational environment for hotel teams.

Regarding global expansion, we have achieved remarkable usage numbers in Southeast Asia, with Taiwan and Singapore leading the way. Leveraging our ability to provide comprehensive solutions, opportunities in global markets such as the United States and China will arise multiple times. We also aspire to expand into Australia, the United Kingdom, and countries of the Middle East. 

Moreover, leveraging the advantage of AVA supporting multiple languages, we are currently preparing for new products. These devices utilize natural language understanding (NLU) to analyze all data and integrate with management systems (PMS). We aim to expand not only in the hotel industry but also in markets such as call centers.

Partnering with Aiello can take your hotel’s digital transformation journey to the next level and provide the best possible experience for your guests. If you want to dive deeper into conversational AI solutions for hotels, get in touch with our team and we’ll get back to you within 2 working days.

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