News by Andrew Kameka on Monday January 27, 2014.
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Starwood Hotels is trying to get its guests to test a concept that would do away with room keys or card keys to enter a hotel room. The company instead wants users to unlock the door using their Bluetooth-enabled iPhone or Android device. In an effort to streamline the check-in process that requires waiting at the front desk to gain access to a room, Starwood plans to send a virtual key to a smartphone, and then have that phone transmit the code over Bluetooth so the door will unlock. We've seen this technology deployed in residential areas, but this would bring the technology to travelers.
Keyless room entry is part of a pilot program Starwood is running at the Aloft Hotel in California and Harlem, NY. Both locations will allow guests to walk up to the door and turn their phone as if it were a key to trigger the code that unlocks the door. The system would initially be compatible only with an Android device running at least Android 4.3 or an iPhone 4s or later. The program is entirely opt-in and in testing only two boutique hotels, but it could be something that expands to more locations.source: Starwood, via: Wall Street Journal
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.