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Smartphone Keys Will Soon Unlock Starwood Hotels

Starwood will start allowing people to unlock their guest rooms at Starwood hotels using their phones this week. You can utilize this service by installing the provided smartphone key app on your smartphone. This is an invitation-only service.

Westin Hotel in Santa Clara. Westin might be one of the Starwood hotels to support the new smartphone key system.
Westin Hotel in Santa Clara.
Image obtained with thanks from Peter Kaminski on Flickr.

According to The Bulletin,

Starwood will begin offering smartphone key apps at 10 hotels in its Aloft, Element and W hotel brands this week, including five in the U.S. The introduction comes after testing conducted this year at two of Starwood’s Aloft brand hotels, one in New York City and one in Cupertino, California.

In September, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts started testing mobile keys at one of its hotels in New York City, a pilot it expects to wrap up by early 2015, said Brett Cowell, vice president of strategic systems.

The Good Side Of Smartphone Key Technology

Smartphone key technology could be very beneficial to both customers and the hospitality industry because consumers could pay to book online using their phones, and then check into their rooms without waiting in line to get their keys. They could also avoid waiting in line to return their keys in checkout.

Apart from that, the fewer things you have to carry, the better, whether you have limited pocket space or a full purse.

Potential Consequences Of Smartphone Key Technology

Imagine waking up to find a stalker standing at your bedside, or a thief rummaging through your possessions. The chances of this increase if you use a poorly secured wireless unlocking system. However, Selva Selvaratnam, a senior vice president of the lock manufacturer working with Starwood said that encryption is employed at several points in transmission.

This could also happen if your smartphone is stolen (especially if it isn’t password protected).

As society moves towards the use of smartphones as universal keys and Swiss army knives, their user interfaces have become cluttered with many apps, and because of that: the theft of a smartphone is a huge thorn in your side where privacy and security are concerned. Many people’s phones can now be used to make purchases, harass their friends and family, and maybe even identity theft.

Source: The Bulletin.

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