"Your smartphone becomes key to skipping the hotel front desk"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
Your smartphone becomes key to skipping the hotel front desk
Traveling whether for business or pleasure can be frustrating.
but mobile technology is easing one travel woe.
Instead of fumbling for a hotel key card, you may soon just reach f or you smart phone.
This month, ten Starwood hotels will allow guests to unlock their rooms with a tap of their phone.
The keyless feature should roll out at all W, Aloft and Element hotels starting in 2015.
To use the feature, guests need an iPhone or Android device that's blue tooth low energy enabled.
That's how the phones talk to the door locks.
And the free Starwood preferred guest or SPG app.
SPG members will start with a one time process.
They'll, to register their device with us.
From that point on when they make a reservation at any W, Aloft, or Element globally they'll receive the option to use SPG keyless when they check in.
A major convenience of this technology is that you can bypass an often time consuming step.
Checking in at the front desk.
Just open up the app and head straight to your room.
You get push notifications with your room number.
You also get notifications saying what preferences we were able to deliver.
So you can upgrade it for example.
And then you get a notification when you check out as well.
To open the door guests hold the phone up to the lock and wait for the green light.
Keyless entry could eliminate the need for key cards altogether.
We really started by looking at the entire guest experience and how we can leverage [UNKNOWN] keyless to enhance that so.
Whether it is the elevator locks in certain hotels, the locks on the gyms.
To ensure security, Starwood partnered with a smart lock company.
The key is will only work on your phone, not anybody else's phone, so it can't be taken and put on anything else.
And if you lose your phone, the key is immediately retracted, it's taken away from the system.
So in terms of security, it's a good as if not higher than the card you used to carry around.
Still, if a phone is stolen and not passcode enabled, someone could learn your room number.
But Starwood is assuming guests will notice a missing phone before a missing key.
Other hotels that have gone mobile include San Fransisco's Personality Hotels Group.
Hilton also plans to introduce keyless entry and a mobile feature that lets guests choose their rooms.
Now that's a travel perk.
In San Francisco, I'm [UNKNOWN] cnet.com for CBS News.
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