When it comes to checking into a hotel and remembering to carry around your room key, we can all agree the system could be better, especially in this digital age we live in. I’ve been dreaming of being able to use my smartphone to open my hotel room for years, and it’s about to finally happen.
Check in and hotel keys will soon be something of the past for a few Starwood Hotel properties, with the company getting ready to release a new method in which we can check in, and even unlock our room all with a smartphone. While NFC and Bluetooth have both been around for a while, this is something we all thought would be here by now, and is finally coming.
According to the Wall Street Journal Starwood Hotels is about to launch a new pilot program where two hotels will have this feature for preferred guests. Allowing users to walk right past the check-in desk and wander up to their room, which the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) app will tell you which room is yours, and let customers unlock the door with their smartphone and a flick of their wrist, or a tap.
The Aloft Hotel in Manhattan, and Silicon Valley, are the first of many locations to receive this new feature which will be using Bluetooth for a connection, and make check-ins and key cards a thing of the past. Starwood officials believe this is the future, and will be the biggest innovation in hotels since free WiFi.
Wall Street Journal goes on to state some hotel owners claim a physical employee to help guests is preferred, but like most things these days, everything is going digital, and we’re expecting this trend to continue with hotels moving forward.
The mobile app for keyless entry and easy check-ins will be available for all Android 4.3 and above smartphones, as well as the iPhone 4S and beyond. We can expect more Aloft and W hotels to receive similar features throughout 2014, according to Starwood.