Slowly rolling out across Starwood properties, a smartphone app becomes a virtual key for guests, allowing quick entry into their room. Starwood believes that this will become the new standard in the hotel business. And while the front desk will remain at Starwood properties for guests who would rather deal with a human, the virtual key and mobile check-in will be launched this year at W Hotels and Aloft hotels. Currently representing 123 properties in Starwood's portfolio, these are luxury hotels that draw a younger, mostly tech savvy crowd, according to the hotelier.
Other hotels have been adding mobile devices to their check-in process, but it still requires a trip to the front-desk to receive a key. For example, some Hyatt hotels have a floating greeter with an Apple iPad who will take information from guests as they arrive. Some Marriott hotels allow for guests to check-in using a smartphone, but keys must be picked up at the front desk.
Starwood seems to have everything covered. The door locks that connect to a smartphone key are powered by a battery, and if the battery gets low, the hotel staff is alerted via an email.
source: Starwood , WSJ via AndroidCentral