Starwood hotels to offer smartphone keys to guests for unlocking their rooms
Is this the beginning of the end of hotel check-in desks? Well, it might just be, with Starwood, the famous hotel and resort chain all set to integrate the ‘holy grail’ technology of smartphone keys for guests. The accommodation giant will be trying out their hi-tech set up at two Aloft hotels in Harlem, New York City and Cupertino, California by the end of March. So, what does the ambit exactly entail? Well, according to the client, this will allow the guests to directly access their room by using their personal smartphone as the room key.
The personalized accessing will achieved via a dedicated Starwood app. Consequently, every hotel guest (who have legally made their reservation) will be supplied with a virtual key in their smartphone. So, when they want to enter the room, the person has to tap the phone, and door lock will automatically open via integrated Bluetooth technology. Unfortunately, guests with older phone models or Windows phones might not be able to avail the remote ambit, as the system will only be compatible with iOS 5 (or higher) and Android 4.3 (or higher).
Now, from the theoretical perspective, such a system should benefit the seamless guest handling side of the business. This is especially true for the holiday and vacationing seasons, when customers tend to crowd around the front desk for discounts, directions, and even when they are searching for their lost room keys. However, the technological scope of a smartphone key is in its nascent stage, with the security credentials still relatively unproven in the current state of affairs.