January 27, 2014
You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone as a room key at two Starwood hotels. Before the end of March, the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan and the one in Silicon Valley will implement a new smartphone check-in program. If proven successful, the program should go nationwide later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Both boutique hotels will offer virtual keys through the Starwood app for iPhone. The key will unlock a room with a tap or twist of the phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. The service will be usable on the iPhone 4s or newer models, and Android-based phones running 4.3 or newer. According to Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s CEO:
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.Take a look: http://youtu.be/e4d3NmO4-_k This isn’t the first hotel chain to implement mobile check-ins. Marriott International recently introduced a similar service at 350 of its flagship Marriott brand hotels worldwide. They hope to add 150 new locations by this summer. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is testing a mobile service for its loyalty members at Crowne Plaza Hotels. Starwood hopes to implement smartphone check-ins at all of its luxury W Hotels and Aloft hotels before the end of the year. The company was one of the first hotel chains to implement Apple’s Passbook service when it arrived in 2012. See also: Discover, Plan And Share Your Next Epic Adventure With The New Epiclist App For iOS, It's Here: The Long-Awaited iPad Version Of App In The Air Is No Longer Up In the Air, and Flint Mobile's Latest Update Brings Passbook Support, Online Card Payments And More.