Let me clear the title up: Apple is not selling keys. But Apple is teaming up with hotel chains. These chains will allow you to use your iPhone to lock and unlock your hotel room at your convenience.
Starwood Hotels (the chain that gives us luxury hotels like Sheraton, Aloft, W and Le Meridian) are starting the SPG Keyless program. You can use this program as soon as you book a Starwood hotel. You can choose to register your phone through the SPG app. The day before your stay, they’ll give you your room number and cyber key through that app. At your arrival, you skip the check-in desk and use your iPhone and go straight to your room. With the app on your iPhone, you unlock your room and there you go. As of today, only three Starwood brands: Aloft, W and Element have this service. Other Starwood brands are expected to follow soon. SPG Keyless will be available through iPhone 4, 5,and 6? systems. Hilton Hotels are looking to get into the key less trend. Starting in early 2015, they will be launching their own key less system at select hotels and resorts in the US. Eventually, you’ll be able to use these upcoming hotel key less systems on Android smartphones.
This could work. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on vacations and I forget my card key. Now I have to go to the front desk, sometimes at crazy hours, and ask to be let in. This new system will eliminate that hassle and potential embarrassment. I like the way they’re starting up for more expensive chains and smartphones too. I hope this is so successful that withing a few years, the key less trend will trickle down to every hotel chain and will be affordable to all hotel patrons. Would you use your smartphone as a hotel key?