Marriott International is launching a facial recognition check-in pilot program at two properties in China this month, with the goal of a global roll-out down the line.
Marriott, in a joint venture with e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, will test the technology in an effort to deliver faster check in times. The check-in process at Marriott properties typically takes a minimum of three minutes, and more at peak times when lines are longer, the company says. With the new facial recognition system, that process could shorten to less than a minute.
Launching initially for Chinese guests only, travelers use check-in kiosks to scan their IDs, take a photo, and input contact details. The kiosk will then dispense room key cards after verifying the guest’s identity and booking information.
The test properties will be the Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiang, in Hangzhou, about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, and the waterfront Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay, on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea.
The Marriott and Alibaba joint venture, launched in August 2017, also manages Marriott’s booking gateway on Alibaba’s travel booking site Fliggy (marriottcn.fliggy.com) and has rolled out Post Post Pay, an online “wallet-free” payment system for Fliggy users, at over 1,000 Marriott International hotels globally.