Starwood app wants to use your smartphone as a hotel card

The next time you check into your hotel room, you’ll be able to go through the entire process with nothing but your smartphone. New technology being implemented by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. plans to offer the more streamlined check-in process in early 2014 at the Aloft Hotels in Manhattan and Silicon Valley.

Guests arriving at the Aloft Hotel in Manhattan or one in Silicon Valley will soon be able to do something hotels have dreamed about offering for years: walk past the check-in desk and enter their rooms by using a smartphone as a room key. The boutique hotel brand from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. plans to offer this feature at two hotels, in the Harlem neighborhood and in Cupertino, Calif., before the end of the quarter. Guests at these properties will receive a message on a Starwood app containing a virtual key, which will unlock the door with a tap or twist of their phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. The company says the iPhone 4s or newer models and the Android phones running 4.3 or newer will be compatible.

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