Your smartphone is the key to skipping the hotel front desk

Demagnetized or lost hotel key cards may soon become a problem of the past as Starwood Hotels rolls out keyless entry in its smartphone app.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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Claire Reilly
2 min read

Watch this: Your smartphone becomes key to skipping the hotel front desk

Forget losing your hotel key card in the small hours of the morning and facing a night sleeping in the corridor -- thanks to a new Bluetooth-connected app, guests at Starwood Hotels will soon be able to access their room using their smartphone.

Starwood Hotels, owner of more than 1,200 properties across the world, has announced the rollout of the feature for 10 of its hotels, with keyless access expected to roll out across all Aloft, Element and W Hotels in 2015.

The keyless entry works on Bluetooth LE-enabled iPhones and Android smartphones thanks to the company's free SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) App. Guests simply sign up through the app, and when they check-in for their booking they will have the option to use SPG Keyless to access their room. Getting into the room is as simple as holding the phone up to the Bluetooth panel on the door and waiting for the green light.

The app also allows guests to view the details of their stay and receive push notifications on the status of their room, such as information on upgrades. But the biggest bonus is the time saved -- visitors will be able to bypass the front desk when they get to their hotel, taking control of everything through the app.

Starwood Hotels promises advanced security, partnering with smart lock company Assa Abloy to ensure that specific room keys only work on specific phones and allowing digital keys to be wiped if a phone is lost.

And it's not just for your room -- Bluetooth app technology also has practical applications across the whole hotel experience including access to elevators or the gym.

Starwood's move is part of a worldwide shift towards smart hotel technology, with Hilton Hotels rolling out smartphone technology that allows users to enter their room without a key and even choose their room off the floor plan before they arrive.