Starwood Announces Digital Room Keys with Apple iWatch
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
By now you may have heard that Apple is introducing a state-of-the-art watch in 2015. The new watch, known as the iWatch, will allow consumers to access their iPhones without having to remove them from a pocket or bag.
The iWatch will have many advanced features, including some that can benefit travelers. Timeshare brands have already utilized smartphones by introducing apps for members. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, parent company of the Starwood Vacation Network, brings this technology a step forward with plans to introduce an iWatch digital room key.
The new room key will allow guests to open their unit using only the iWatch. In order to use the iWatch, the guest must also own an iPhone, but they will be able to access with just the swipe of their watch. This will become very convenient when juggling luggage and carry-on bags. Guests will also not have to worry about losing their key card or having their key deactivate because of cellphone contact.
The innovative app will be introduced at W Hotels in spring of 2015, the same time that the iWatch is expected to arrive on the market. At first, the app will only be available to Starwood Preferred Guest members, the hospitality brand’s loyalty club.
Hilton also announced recently that it is developing a smartphone room key. With this app, guest can check-in, check-out, contact concierge, and choose their room from an interactive map.
Both resorts have addressed potential privacy concerns in their statements regarding the new apps. Concerns about the safety of passwords and the possibility of hackers brought up questions from a few skeptics. Both companies stated that these apps have different safety features from traditional apps and that these safety concerns have been tested and verified.
Starwood and Hilton are two of the first hospitality brands to introduce this smartphone/watch room key. We can expect that other leading brands will follow in their footsteps in the couple of years.
Here at TheTimeshareAuthority.com, we are excited to see the innovative ways that timeshare brands will adapt to this new technology. Stay tuned for updates as these apps are introduced.
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