The metamorphosis of a key – From the traditional key to a sleek card to a touch of your mobile

The key has come a long way, from the bulky key with a keychain to a sleek card that could fit into a wallet and now just a touch of your mobile phone can get you into your hotel room. The Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) programme with its new technology redefines the hotel experience for their guests. They proudly introduce the hotel industry’s first mobile keyless entry system with the aim of doing away with the arduous checking in process. Of waiting at the front desk after a long , exhausting journey for someone to complete all the formalities, submitting passports, filling and signing forms, producing your credit card, when all you can think of is sinking into the bed and putting up your feet for a while. With this new system that is exactly what you do.

The SPG members need to register their phone and allow push notifications. 24 hours before arrival, the SPG are invited to opt for the keyless option. The guest will receive a push notification informing them that they are checked in and the SPG App will update them with their room number and a Bluetooth key.

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On arrival, the guest needs to walk up straight to their assigned room and simply open the SPG App, hold the smart phone to the door lock, wait for the green light and enter the room.

Can it get any easier?
From tomorrow, Aloft Hotels in Beijing, Cancun, Cupertino, Harlem and the W Hotels in Doha, Hollywood, Hong Kong, New York Downtown, Singapore and Element Times Square will start this system. By 2015 they plan for it to be active in over 150 Aloft, W and Element hotels around the globe.

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This is just the beginning with your mobile being used to enter your hotel room. The whiz kids in the hotel industry are working on plans and programmes to enhance your stay in the hotel with more and more control at the tip of your fingers.

With the mobile already being an integral part of our lives it now gets more and more entwined into our day to day activities. One wonders what they will come up with next. We will just wait and watch.

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