“Hey, Disney!” is the name of a new voice assistant created by Amazon and Disney. This new Disney assistant, which is based on Amazon’s Alexa technology, will be available on your home Echo as well as in Echo devices situated in Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms. You may use it to interact with Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and other characters. It’ll be the first time an Echo device will have a custom Alexa assistant.
This voice assistant, according to Amazon, will provide you with engaging narrative experiences and entertainment utilizing Disney characters. You may also access games and jokes set in the Disney universe. You may set timers and alarms, as well as check the weather, by saying “Hey, Disney!”
The voice assistant may be utilized in Disney hotel rooms to make your stay more enjoyable. It can answer inquiries, carry out particular requests (for example, if you need additional towels), and much more. It’s part of a new Alexa for Hospitality initiative that allows hotels to deploy Amazon Echo units on a large scale while also providing customizable displays.
Starting in 2022, the “Hey, Disney!” assistant will be accessible in the Alexa Skills Store in the United States. Amazon also unveiled a new Disney-themed OtterBox Den Series stand for the Echo Show 5 with Mickey ears at the same time. For $24.99, you can pre-order it now.
So what’s the point of paying for something that isn’t Alexa? You may already know the answer if you have children. This “wonderful companion,” as Disney refers to it, may crack jokes, provide trivia, or lead sing-alongs. It summons the voices of characters from books and interactive games, like Mickey Mouse and characters from Pixar, Star Wars, and Marvel. It’ll also play “soundscapes,” which are inspired by movies and theme parks, as background sounds.
It’s pre-programmed to perform things like tell the time, read the weather, and set alarms, among other things (likely in a Disney-sorta-way). Disney claims that their unique voice has over 1,000 conceivable interactions, plus visual components if you have an Echo with a screen.
And that’s only the beginning. Dan Soto, Disney Parks’ vice president of technology and digital, said in a video interview that the business may add more features or utilize it in new ways.
“This is just sort of scratching the surface on where we can take voice technology for our guests,” Soto added. “We got some pretty special ideas on what we can do for the future with it.”
Hey Disney in the hotel
While this voice might provide lighthearted entertainment at home, Hey Disney has greater value in its hotels. Some guest room requests, like requesting extra towels or requesting assistance with bags and checkout, can be handled by it. It can also provide information about the resort, such as when the next Epcot bus leaves, where to locate an Italian restaurant, and when the park opens and closes. Having a machine execute such routine procedures may save time for both guests and Disney employees on the backend.
With the addition of more than 30,000 Echo Show 5 devices to Disney’s property, that’s a lot of Amazon. However, these gadgets have been adjusted to protect the privacy of guests: When a guest enters a room, the camera and calling functions are deactivated, and the speakers are dormant and muffled, according to Disney. To use the speaker, guests must first opt-in.
There’s also no ability to buy anything on the hotel versions of Hey Disney (so parents don’t have to worry about pizza delivery to their rooms).
While the focus of these Disney hotel Echo devices will be on Hey Disney, they will also have some Alexa voice. Amazon’s original assistant can read the news or play music for guests, but it won’t switch on the TV or turn on the lights in the room (at least not yet).
It’s Alexa for Hospitality, but with a Disney twist.
The Walt Disney World Resort isn’t the first hotel to install Echo devices in guest rooms. Marriott hotels were among the first to participate in the Alexa for Hospitality initiative, which began in 2018. It offers hotels greater control over what Alexa can do, and it gives visitors additional privacy choices, such as not recording a history of voice requests.
Echo Dots were installed to the Pirate Island Hotel at the Legoland Resort in Florida early this year. “Ahoy matey, I’m Alexa,” says a message on the top of the speaker. Although there is no dedicated Legoland assistant or voice, Alexa may be asked to read a pirate-narrated bedtime tale or begin an in-room treasure hunt. (And yes, there are pirate jokes in this Alexa.)
Because it’s the first to launch with Amazon’s Alexa Custom Assistant program, Disney’s assistant has its own personality and voice. It allows businesses to create their own personal assistants that are suited to a brand’s personality or specific consumer demand. However, all of Amazon’s technology is used behind the scenes.
The Alexa Custom Assistant isn’t only for hotel guests. Anywhere, brands can put their own spin on Alexa. It may be a voice in a car that gives unique abilities exclusive to that vehicle. Perhaps you use a brand’s personal assistant for certain tasks, such as cooking or working out. Disney is the first company to use Amazon’s technology to create its own.
Amazon is pioneering the use of numerous assistants on the Echo. Multiple voices, on the other hand, are described by Aaron Rubenson, vice president of Alexa Everywhere, as summoning various pals throughout the day.
“You may talk to one friend about their favorite music, you may talk to another friend about their favorite Disney characters or Disney movies,” Rubenson said. “In the same way, we think customers should be able to choose to interact with a variety of voice assistants on a given device. Each can have their own skills and capabilities.”
It’s likely that in the future, Echo speakers will be brimming with various branded assistants. It all depends on how popular this new Disney character is.
Sid Philips is a father of two and a loving husband. He currently resides in Pennsylvania and has been a fan of Disney since his parents took him there in 1980! Sid has visited multiple Disney parks around the world and loves each one!
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