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Mobile Communications

Room service via emoji? Check.

Emojis. They’re like Marmite – people seem to love them or hate them. (Or, if you’re me, they can be a mildly amusing addition to an instant message.) ‘The Internet’ seems obsessed with them; with copious stories about ‘new emojis’ – what they should be and how to get them. I personally take all this with a large pinch of salt – emojis can serve a certain purpose and are a happy reminder of ‘the good ole days’ of MS Messenger – but I skip the stories.

Until now.

Because, hold the press – you can now *order room service with emojis*!

The Aloft Manhattan Downtown hotel in New York has just launched Text it, Get it (called TiGi for short), a service that allows you to request services simply by sending an emoji.

The menu is divided into ‘packages’, which guests can order by texting the corresponding combination of emojis to hotel staff. The packages range from ‘The hangover’ (emoji code: water drop, pill and banana) which gets you two bottles of ‘vitaminwater’, painkillers and two bananas for $10, to ‘Surprise me’ (emoji code: present) which claims to get you “Fun swag & cool stuff” for $25.

emoji-menu

It’s not an entirely new idea as bars and food delivery services have previously offered the service: Sunken Harbor Club bar in Brooklyn launched an all emoji menu in January this year; in London, gourmet burger company BurgerBurger and pizza chain Dominos allow you to order food via emoji, and this summer drinks company Innocent ran a pop-up at Shoreditch Boxpark that allowed customers to order “coconut-based mocktails” using a special emoji combination. But Aloft seems to be the first hotel group to adopt the concept, and plans to expand the service to its hotels in Europe, Asia and the rest of the US.

So is it a good idea? Further evidence of the emoji’s villainous plan to ruin the written word? Or is it just plain laziness?

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Kate Hoy

Kate Hoy is Editor of IDG Connect

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