Apple watch unlocks door to a digital future in Hospitality

Apple watch unlocks door to a digital future in Hospitality

In Hotels, Technology by Freddie FramptonLeave a Comment

Last year, Starwood Hotels made an announcement about its intention to enable members of their rewards program SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) to use smart phones for unlocking their room door in hotel units. They have now raised the game with their latest hospitality marketing campaign for SPG; members will now be able to unlock the doors of their hotel rooms with the help of their Apple Watches to coincide with the officially declared launch day of Apple Watch.

Using iphone to unlock hotel door

Using iphone to unlock hotel door

This innovative and latest marketing application will allow SPG guests of Starwood to not only open their hotel room doors but can also assist the process of checking in, viewing information about the hotel, checking their bookings, status of rewards and much more. This means that as a guest, you can arrive at your hotel and skip the front desk procedure totally; walk up to your room, open the door with your smart phone, put your feet up and settle down.

Once you register with SPG Keyless, you will automatically be sent your room number by Apple Watch; your watch will now function as the key for your hotel room at any unit of Starwood Hotels that are enabled by SPG Keyless. It will enable you to bypass front desk check-in procedure (wherever available).

SPG keyless unlocks your hotel room door

SPG keyless unlocks your hotel room door

The unique door locks will function through the Bluetooth technology as they are designed with ASSA BLOY as per the information received from Starwood Hotels. Currently, this system is not in use at every hotel unit but there are many units that are already offering this unique service such as W Hotels, Element and Aloft. There are plans afoot to introduce these options and assimilate it in over thirty thousand hotel rooms in the very near future.

The actual value of Apple Watch and other smart watches, generally, is under debate but if you are an aficionado of all things futuristic, it will certainly make you feel that you are already living in the future!

This is in no way a big plug for apple, the only mac product I own is a laptop and I run it on the Windows 7 operating platform, basically a PC with a mac engine and in all fairness they are just playing catch-up to Google, Samsung and Sony in this niche. I personally don’t buy in to this idea of buying everything from the same brand; it creates a monopoly, which in turn kills the drive for new creative technological advancements. That aside, I have to congratulate Starwood for taking the initiative and embracing the digital revolution in hospitality, alongside a shrewd affiliation with Apple. It will be interesting to see how this one goes, I imagine that in the not too distant future we will be able to use this technology to open our front door, now that’s a great idea!

With the rapid growth of NFC (Near Field Communication) we can expect to see some major technological breakthroughs in the near future which are going to completely change the way we go about our day to day lives.  For all you traditionalists who don’t like the idea (there are always some dinosaurs) and would rather wait to check-in, don’t worry, you still can, just don’t expect me to wait for you at check-in.

About the Author

Freddie Frampton

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A progressive and operational, British National, strategist and trusted consultant with a rich mix of Business Development & Marketing experience spanning over 20 years of international work experience (Middle East and Europe) as a leading business professional in the hospitality industry.

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