South Korean telco giant bringing AI solutions to SE Asia’s hotels

KT's Lee Pil-Jai and HBC's Le Viet Hai (middle two) during a signing ceremony at KT’s headquarters in central Seoul

South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, KT Corp, will introduce its home-developed artificial intelligence (AI) technology to hotels, apartments, building and cities overseas, starting with Vietnam.

The company last month signed an agreement with Vietnam’s Hoa Binh Construction Group (HBC) JVC to bring AI-powered hotel and apartment services to South-east Asia.

KT’s Lee Pil-Jai and HBC’s Le Viet Hai (middle two) during a signing ceremony at KT’s headquarters in central Seoul

The two partners also agreed to later cooperate on smart buildings and cities in major metropolitan areas throughout the region.

“It’s a big first step for KT’s AI platform to reach out to the world, thanks to the partnership with HBC,” said Lee Pil-Jai, senior executive vice president of KT’s marketing group.

“With great success in South Korea, we will step up efforts to localise our AI hotel service and smart city solutions for South-east Asia and beyond.”

In July, KT opened the first hotel in South Korea offering AI-assisted room services, Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences.

The company plans to open three more similar hotels across the capital city by 2020 in partnership with global hotel chains such as Accor, Hyatt and Marriott.

KT’s AI service platform, GiGA Genie Hotel, is a special customisation of GiGA Genie, the world’s first AI-powered smart home media hub launched in 2017. With more than one million subscribers in South Korea, KT’s voice-activated AI platform allows users to see what they command on touch screens or TV screens.

GiGA Genie Hotel is a multi-functional, voice-recognising infotainment system. The hotel rooms’ lights, temperature controls and TV respond to voice commands such as “Genie, please set the room temperature to 20 degrees”. Toiletries and other supplies may also be requested with voice.

Voice commands are currently available in Korean and English, and additional languages, including Chinese and Japanese, will be added. KT also plans to provide more concierge services for the Genie Hotel Platform, such as checking hotel bills, checking out and paying for the mini bar and room service.

KT’s other solutions include GiGAeyes, an intelligent video security and image analysis service, which detects intrusions in real time, both inside and outside of the hotel. It also serves as a round-the-clock fire monitor. The company is also using KT-MEG, which optimises energy management by analysing big data to predict and control energy demands during peak hours.

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