Hotel chains are working to make your next stay essentially hassle free, with technologies that allow you to check in using your smartphone, select your room using your phone, and now, Starwood Hotels and Resorts is launching a program that would allow its guests to unlock their rooms using a smartphone app.
In the airline industry, travelers can use their phones to select seats on the plane, check in, and even use their phone as a boarding pass. The hotel industry is hoping to do something similar.
Starwood Hotels and resorts is the first to allow its guests at ten Aloft, Element, and W hotels to unlock doors using their phones. The chain is looking to expand the program to 140 locations in the future.
The technology would require the phone to make contact with the lock on the outside of the door. As of now, a room can only be linked to one phone, so if you are traveling with someone else, they will still need a regular room key to unlock the door.
Hilton has made plans public to introduce a similar program at its hotels, which it intends to launch at the end of 2015.
Other hotels however do allow guests to check in using their phones. Hilton will allow its guests to check in using an app by the end of the year, and will allow its guests to select a room using a map. Marriott plans on doing the same thing, minus the maps to select your room.
In the future, not only may hotel guests be checking in, opening doors, and selecting their rooms using their smartphone, purchasing upgrades may make it to mobile, as well as room service.
Implementing mobile as a means to check into a hotel, and even giving guests the ability to unlock doors with their phones simply makes the experience after a long day far more pleasant. There is no hassle (assuming the technology works well) and you are a happier guest overall at the end of your visit.
Smartphones are quickly becoming the backbone of many everyday things we do. Whether it be at the airport, or soon to be in the hotels, its not about to stop there. One day, it may even serve as the means to check out your items at the grocery store.