1. Akshay Masand's Avatar

    Two hotels that belong to international hospitality chain, Starwood, will soon allow travelers to bypass the check-in counter and unlock their room by using digital keys sent to a special application available for Apple’s iPhone. The locks will use Bluetooth proximity keys, similar to the Bluetooth-based consumer lock sets such as Kwikset’s Kevo that will hit the market in recent months. The two hotels set to implement the technology include one in Manhattan located in Harlem and another in Apple’s native Cupertino, both of which will be pilot sites for the new program.

    The system will be compatible with Apple’s iPhone 4S, 5, 5S and 5C as well as several recent Android devices. It was developed in conjunction with major access control vendor Assa Abloy AB of Sweden, the same company that owns lock brand such as Yale and HID. The Starwood CEO, Frits van Paasschen recently told The Wall Street Journal that the company believes the new smartphone-enabled self-service technology will be an important selling point for hotels in the future. He said the following regarding the matter:

    We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel, it may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.
    Starwood hopes to have the system active across each of the hotels in its W Hotel and Aloft portfolios by the end of 2014 after the two-property pilot. This would represent roughly 123 locations throughout the US. Although hotel owners would be required to make a capital investment to implement the technology, von Paasschen said Starwood would provide a “significant contribution” to defray those costs in order to get the program off the ground.

    Source: The Wall Street Journal

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand
    2014-01-27 10:31 PM
  2. bigboyz's Avatar
    No more searching for the "card" haha! I mean, who doesn't carry a phone these days.
    2014-01-27 10:42 PM
  3. hitman10's Avatar
    Lol.. why do we call them phones, thats like calling a car a tire.
    2014-01-29 11:48 PM