- Starwood Hotels and Resorts is planning to launch the feature in its hotels
- Scheme will be trialled at the Aloft hotels in Manhattan and Silicon Valley
- Users will be able to check-in online and use their phone as a room key
- The app connects to the lock via Bluetooth and works on iOS and Android
19:14 GMT, 29 January 2014
19:16 GMT, 29 January 2014
The queue for the hotel check-in could soon be a thing of past, thanks to a new app that lets you bypass reception – and doubles up as a hotel room key.
Guests at the Starwood Hotels and Resorts’ Aloft locations in Manhattan and Silicon Valley will soon be able to reserve rooms and check-in online using the dedicated app.
They will then be allocated a room number and can unlock that room’s electronic door lock simply by holding their phone up to the reader.
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Guests at Starwood Hotels and Resorts will soon be able to reserve rooms and check-in online using a dedicated app. The Starwood Preferred Guest app can then be used as a virtual room key, when held in front of a reader on the electronic lock, pictured
THE SMART LOCK FOR YOUR HOME
A U.S. firm has launched a ‘smart lock’ that can let you into your home using a mobile phone – and you don’t even need to take the phone out of your pocket to open the door.
The August lock costs £130 ($199) and can even be set to automatically let in friends or workmen.
It is connected to the existing door lock and is battery-operated.
The makers claim that it takes just 10 minutes to install.
Individual locks are battery-powered and the readers connect to the phone via Bluetooth.
The feature is being added as part of an update to the hotel’s existing Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) app.
This app is already available for iOS and Android devices.
It lets guests browse and book rooms, learn more about the hotels, see photos and receive exclusive offers.
If the trials are successful, Starwood Hotels and Resorts said it plans to add the feature to the rest of its 123 hotels by the end of 2015.
The scheme is being trialled at Starwood’s Aloft Hotels in Manhattan, pictured, and Silicon Valley. If the trials are successful, the U.S-based firm said it plans to add the feature to the rest of its 123 hotels worldwide by the end of 2015
The SPG app, pictured, is available for iOS and Android devices and lets guests browse and book rooms, plus receive exclusive offers
Starwood’s CEO Frits Van Paasschen told the Wall Street Journal: ‘It may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.
‘We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel.’
As a precursor to the digital keys, Starwood launched its keycard-by-post scheme in 2010.
Under this scheme, loyalty club members in the U.S. are sent a keycard that can be used time and time again, once they have spent at least one night at any of the Starwood hotels.
The keycard is only activated on the first day of each stay.
Marriott hotels recently introduced online check-in to loyalty program members at 350 of its flagship resorts.
However, once the guests arrive at the hotel, they still need to collect a room key – albeit from a separate reception desk.