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November 07, 2014

Starwood Hotels Makes Your iPhone and Apple Watch Your New Room Key

Most people think of fitness devices when they think of wearable technology. While that market might still be the most popular, there are new uses popping up for wearable technology all the time. Starwood Hotels might have just rolled out one of the most original ideas when it comes to an application for the Apple Watch. As you might expect, the application will allow you to pull up the SPG Keyless Service on your Apple Watch (and also your iPhone) and tap a button to unlock your room.

The project that brought this service to iOS was announced last January, and is now detailing how the program works. The company says that after a customer books a room, they will be invited to opt-in to SPG Keyless programs. Then 24 hours before they arrive at the hotel, the guest will get their hotel room number as well as a Bluetooth key through the application.

One of the biggest draws of this application is that customers will eventually be able to bypass the front desk entirely when they are checking in. Available hotels will allow guests to go directly to their room, pull up the application, tap the phone or iWatch on the door lock and wait for the light to turn green.

The Keyless entry service has gone live at three Starwood hotel brands, Aloft, Element and The W. It should be pointed out that Starwood is already a big fan of Apple, having outfitted its Aloft hotels with Apple TV boxes. It seems as if the hotel chain is just slightly ahead of the curve. Hilton Worldwide just announced it is going to be launching its own smartphone key system this spring. For Starwood customers, the company is using Bluetooth instead of NFC. That means that somewhat older iPhones (iPhone 4S and up) can use this service as well.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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