Wave Goodbye to the Room Key and Wave Your Smartphone Instead at Aloft Hotels
In case you've already forgotten, our #6 resolution for hotels to adopt was more mobile check-ins with "bonus points if they offer keyless entry too." Well, it looks like Starwood Hotels will be getting an envelope of bonus points from us.
The hotel brand announced yesterday that members of its Starwood Preferred Guest program will be able to test a Keyless Mobile Check-In via the SPG smartphone app. Take a look at how it will work:
It's not that much different from the Smart Check-In that Starwood first started doing with its Aloft brand, except the app replaces the special SPG member keycard.
Starwood will be testing this new keyless technology at Aloft hotels in early 2014 with plans to roll it out in Aloft and W Hotels after that. You can apply to be a tester here but you have to be an SPG member first.
We're hopeful about this but it will be a long time before it can be a standard thing at Starwood Hotels.
For starters, Starwood needs to make sure this technology works and is safe. We're especially curious to know if the key on the app is also password protected within the app. So if someone swiped your phone and happen to know your hotel or hotel room #, they would also have to know a different passcode to access the key.
Second, Starwood will have to convince all its hotel owners to invest in the technology for each guest room door. The investment may make sense for some properties--the ones frequented by business travelers--but not for others.
Still, this is a big step for a hotel, and maybe an even bigger step for hotel humankind. Or something like that.
We're signing up for Starwood's keyless entry program right now. Let us know if you happen to try it out too!