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Siri for skiers? Vail’s new bot, Emma, helps you hit the slopes

Siri for skiers? Vail’s new bot, Emma, helps you hit the slopes

Siri may be able to find a song on Apple Music and Alexa may laugh at you in the night, but only Emma will help you on the slopes in Vail.

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Vail Resorts is launching a new chat bot, billed as a “digital mountain assistant,” that will share real-time information about ski conditions and lift lines with guests. Emma, as she is called, is a sophisticated bot that offers up-to-the-minute information on factors that are continuously changing such as grooming, lift line wait times, weather, etc., giving guests access to all the necessary information to know when to hit the slopes–and when to start the après-ski festivities.

“Emma will truly enhance the mountain experience by providing on-demand access to a vast amount of information that’s specific to our resorts,” Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts, said in an email. “She’ll be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give our guests instant access to real-time information, so they can spend less time searching for information and more time enjoying their vacation. Vail Resorts continuously seeks innovative ways to serve our guests, and Emma will offer a seamless way to connect with information they need, exactly when they need it.”

Emma is the latest example of Vail Resorts’ ongoing efforts to use tech to improve ski vacations. Last year, they introduced a Waze-style app that crowdsourced real-time wait times for ski lifts via a smartphone app that collects data from the RFID-enabled season passes skiers carry at the resort.

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