Whenever you arrive at a hotel to check in, it’s almost a certainty that the first thing you do is stop by the front desk. Thanks to the iPhone, however, guests at a couple boutique hotels will no longer have to.
If you visit the Aloft Hotel in either Manhattan or Cupertino, you’ll soon be able to take advantage of the beautiful emerging technology that is Bluetooth controlled locks. Instead of stopping by the front desk to collect your room key, you’ll now be able to walk right up to your designated room and unlock it just by holding up and twisting your iPhone.
Users will download a Starwood hotels app, the parent company of Aloft Hotels, which will contain their individual key card inside it. “We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel,” said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s CEO.
All of the bluetooth locking mechanisms are battery operated, so even in the event of a power outage they can continue to function. Hotel staff is automatically notified when a lock’s battery is beginning to run low.
Guests will need at least an iPhone 4S, or a Bluetooth 4.0 Android device, to take advantage of the feature.There will, of course, continue to be a front desk for people looking to check-in through a more traditional method.
Starwood says that the two hotels should be upgraded with the new technology sometime this quarter. Hopefully it’s not too long before this becomes the norm at some more… affordable hotel chains.
If you’re looking for a similar technology for your home, you can pre-order the August Smart Lock for $199.