In a sign of the times, Japan is slated to open the world’s first hotel staffed almost entirely by robots and controlled by the latest in computer technology, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
The Henn-na Hotel, or “Strange Hotel,” will open its doors on July 17 on the grounds of Huis Ten Bosch theme park near Nagasaki, according to an announcement from JNTO on Jan. 28.
The hotel will initially be staffed by 10 robots working alongside humans to provide a wide range of services from manning the reception desk to carrying bags and cleaning rooms. The management hopes to eventually have the hotel almost entirely staffed by the machines.
“In the future, we’d like to have more than 90 percent of hotel services operated by robots,” said Huis Ten Bosch president Hideo Sawada.
In addition to the robots, Sawada says the 72-room facility will feature high-tech gadgetry aimed at making Henn-na the “most efficient hotel in the world,” The Japan Times reported.
Instead of traditional air conditioning, for example, rooms will feature radiation panels that create a “comfortable indoor environment with no unevenness,” the hotel website added. The panels will automatically detect body heat and adjust room temperature as needed.
Hotel guests will also be able to access their rooms using facial recognition technology instead of room keys. Anyone uncomfortable with the system will be free to use old-fashioned keys, the hotel’s website said.
The hotel promises constant innovations as technology advances.
Henn-na Hotel has tentatively priced single and twin rooms at about $60 and $75 per night, respectively.
Sawada told Japan's Nikkei news website that he plans to take the business model global, opening 1,000 similar hotels around the world.