Imagine a future in-arena suite experience where Alexa by Amazon, through the Echo smart speaker, could take your beer or food order, communicate it to the kitchen staff and have it delivered to your seat within minutes.
Jen Booton | Sports Techie
You wouldn’t have to open your phone and click through an app for mobile ordering (though you could do that too), wave down the waitstaff, or shlep to a brick-and-mortar concession stand. All you’d have to do is tell Alexa what you want.
As part of an effort to reach fans where they are in sports arenas and make it easier-than-ever for them to order concessions and merchandise during games, Oracle Hospitality is experimenting with ways Alexa might be able to integrate with arenas’ point-of-sale (POS) systems.
“Telling Alexa to send another tray of nachos, send another case of beer to your suite, those are the sorts of things that we’re looking to enable because those are things that people use in their daily life already,” Phil Ross, a senior sales engineer at Oracle, said last week at SportTechie’s State Of The Industry event at Barclays Center. “Buying food and beverage is an impulse buy. Whenever they’re ready, we want to be right there ready to transact.”
The Alexa experiment is among the many ways Oracle Hospitality is looking to integrate its cloud-based Simphony POS software with existing technologies that fans are already familiar with, such as the Echo, self-serve kiosks, conventional brick-and-mortar stations and branded mobile ordering apps.
This initiative stems from a recent study of sports fans conducted by Oracle, which found that 45 percent of fans have abandoned a concession line at least once in the past 12 months without making a food or beverage purchase.