Hotel To Use Smartphone Technology For Guests' Room Keys

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By Jesselle Maminta | January 29, 2014 2:46 PM EST

What if you could walk past the hotel's front desk and enter straight to your room with your smartphone as your room key?

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. has announced its plans to roll out its own smartphone application where guests can check in online using their phones as their room keys.

The Starwood app that will be launched has features that will allow guests to check in and make their payments online, after getting a unique code which will serve as their room keys by tapping and twisting the phone in front of the Bluetooth-run contact. The app will run in newer models of iPhone and Android phones, starting with 4S and higher for iPhone and Jellybean (4.3) or higher for Android.

According to Frits van Paasschen, Starwood's CEO, this technology will be "the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel,"though this idea may be "a novelty at first."

In connection to this, Starwood executives recognize there are some people that still prefer the traditional hotel front desk check-in method. But they also told the Wall Street Journal that their new method will eventually win their guests over, considering this is the era where virtually all activities are being integrated to smartphones.

However, this was not the first time this technology is being integrated to the check-in process. According to The Wall Street Journal, "past attempts to use technology to streamline the check-in process have had mixed results," citing the hotels that have used similar technology with dissatisfactory outcomes such as the Holiday Inn hotels and Hilton Hotels.

Rooms that use this technology will be available by 2014 in Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, Calif. and Brooklyn in New York City. But Starwood hopes that this feature will be rolled out in all 206 Aloft and W Hotels by 2015.

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