Artificial Intelligence

Prehistory meets the future in Japanese hotels

© HUISTEN BOSCH

If you are a technology buff who also happens to regret not having inhabited the Earth at the same time as dinosaurs, the Henn na Hotel in Sasebo, Japan, is the place to be. The “Weird Hotel,” which is the English translation of its name, received much positive feedback since opening last year in the Netherlands-inspired theme park Huis Ten Bosch on the island of Kyushu and the hotel recently announced its decision to expand.

For now, three additional branches in Japan are set to launch. The second Henn na Hotel is scheduled to open in March 2017 in the proximity of the Tokyo Disney Resort and another two are expected to begin operating near other theme parks in the country in the near future. In addition to expanding its business within the country, the hotel chain is considering going global. The hotel is considering Bali, Indonesia, for its first branch outside Japan.

So what’s the big deal? Well, for starters, when you enter the hotel you will be greeted by none other than a multilingual dinosaur robot at the reception.

Furthermore, porter robots will transfer your bags to your room and instead of getting a key, you will be registered with a face recognition system and will be able to enter your room that way. To cut the long story short, practically the whole hotel is run by robots. Currently there are only three human employees and their main task is to assist the robots.

In addition to all this, the Henn na Hotel is environmentally friendly and is thus equipped with features such as an energy efficient air-conditioning system, solar panels and motion sensor-based lights which will automatically turn off if the room is empty.

Although the tendency of robots taking over from humans as hotel staff is still in its infancy, the trend may cause people working in the service industry to worry about losing their jobs to machines in the near future.

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