MSC Cruises has unveiled what it calls ‘a digital cruise personal assistant’.
This is the latest feature in ‘MSC for Me’, the company’s digital innovation programme.
The software was developed in partnership with Harman International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.
The system will be introduced on ‘MSC Bellissima’, which is currently under construction at the STX France shipyard in St Nazaire, France and is due to be christened at Southampton on 2nd March, 2019.
Gianni Onorato, MSC Cruises CEO, commented,“This is another example of how we are continuously innovating to better serve the needs of our guests, not only for the cruise guests of today but those of the future, as we shape the future of the cruise holiday.
“We employ state-of-the-art technology in a uniquely comprehensive way, building it into every step of the development of our new ships, starting from their conception and design to the final guest experience.
“It is through our cruise expertise, the skill of our shipyard partners and our unique collaborations with world-leading digital and technology experts such as Samsung and now Harman, that we are able to introduce ground-breaking technology to provide our guests with a connected experience that enhances their cruise from beginning to end,” he said.
The virtual personal assistant is a conversational, voice-enabled artificial intelligence (AI) innovation that can communicate, learn and intelligently predict guests’ needs to make relevant suggestions. It will provide guests with tailored information to help simplify and enhance their MSC Cruises holiday experience by providing quick and easy answers to questions from their cabins.
MSC Cruises’ digital innovation programme has been devised in collaboration with over 11 of the world’s leading digital, tech and behavioural science experts, including Deloitte Digital and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
This latest enhancement was developed by MSC Cruises’ Business Innovation team led by Luca Pronzati, Chief Innovation Officer and Harman, an expert in the field of voice-enabled technology having developed audio solutions for technology leaders such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft.
Sanjay Dhawan, President, Harman Connected Services and company CTO, commented,“Digital Assistants and voice recognition technologies are transforming the way we communicate and get our work done today. With this outstanding solution, MSC Cruises will completely transform its guests’ experience on board. Imagine getting instant and personalised information like cruise events, entertainment options, journey updates, or just playing your favourite music by a simple voice command. Harman is excited to bring this innovation to MSC Cruises.”
Reflecting MSC Cruises’ international on board offering, guests will be able to communicate with the new digital personal assistant device in seven languages – English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Brazilian Portuguese and Mandarin.
It will be initially launched on ‘MSC Bellissima’, but will be available on all future new ships and plans are in place to introduce the feature on the rest of the fleet, the company said.
’MSC for Me’ is a multi-channel digital experience that was designed to connect guests to their holiday experience with new technology. It includes the ‘MSC for Me’ App, in-cabin connected television, and the interactive information screens around the ship, amongst other features. This system was first launched on board ‘MSC Bellissima’s’ sistership, ‘MSC Meraviglia’.