In Depth

Sneak Peek At The iPhone As Hotel Room Door Key

While on a recent visit to the W Hollywood Hotel, Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder gave an impromptu product demonstration on a keyless entry system that permits guests to use their smartphone devices as room keys.

Wozniak previously appeared on the reality show “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List” and competed on ABC’s prime-time “Dancing With the Stars.” So naturally, Wozniak would be game to conduct an on-the-spot demo of the keyless technology.

In the demonstration, Wozniak showed how easy and seamless the process to keyless entry is by utilizing his iPhone. With his phone he launched the SPG application and then placed the phone to the door lock. He then waits for the green light to signal on the lock, which occurs in a matter of seconds. From there he clicks the latch open and enters the hotel room.

“And I didn’t have to talk to anybody to do this,” says Wozniak.

The ten Starwood hotels that have adopted the feature and include: Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore and Element Times Square.

For members of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program who would like to experience keyless entry, members are invited book a reservation at a participating hotel. After booking, members can download the app and register their smartphone devices for the keyless entry program.

Upon 24 hours of arrival, guests will receive a push notification noting that they are checked-in and will provide their room number along with a Bluetooth capable key.

At arrival, if a photo ID is not required at check-in, guests can skip the check-in process completely and go directly to their rooms.

Starwood notes that there are also plans to also bring the technology to the Apple Watch sometime next year.

“When the Apple Watch is available next year, we envision endless ways Apple Watch could help us enhance our guests’ experiences at our hotels from instantly recognizing guests with a warm, personal welcome to empowering our SPG guests to bypass the front desk,” says Chris Holdren, a spokesperson for Starwood.

“When you arrive at a destination airport, a notification will take you to a list of transportation options to your hotel. When you arrive at the hotel, a notification shows you your room number with instructions for using the Apple Watch to unlock your room and when you arrive at the bar, you’ll be asked via notification if you’d like your usual drink brought to your table.”

Starwood rolled out the SPG Keyless capability in November 2014 and considers the capability another advancement to Starwood’s smart check-in. ​

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