Hotel Allows Customers to Use Smartphone as Room Key

Using a smartphone to check into your hotel should be the new standard, but there’s only one hotel that’s currently experimenting with the feature.

Aloft Hotel, owned and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is set to pilot its virtual room key in New York City and Silicon Valley. The new feature is an app that lets users sign in, pay, and access their hotel rooms – all with their personal smartphone. The app and lock uses Bluetooth technology and batteries, so even if the power is out, you’ll be able to use your key. However, if your phone battery runs out, the hotel should provide a charging station.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Starwood’s CEO describes the new changes as ”  the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel. It may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.” As for future uses for the front desk, he said, it will be like a bartender, “It can be an interaction people enjoy.”

Only iPhone 4 and latter models and Android with 4.3 or newer will be compatible. If you already use your phone for flights, this will feel very welcomed.