Hotel owner turns mobile phones into room keys

Starwood Hotels and Resorts – the owner of the Sheraton, Le Meridien and W Hotels – is to allow business travellers to use their mobile handsets to check-in and enter their rooms.

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Visitors to the group’s hotels will be able to use their phones instead of collecting a key card for their room. Barcodes will be downloaded to their phone using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.

Chief brand officer Phil McAveety says the service is aimed at guests who spend a lot of time travelling and staying in hotels.

The move is part of Starwood’s efforts to boost its digital offering. It is also looking to provide hardware in rooms for customers to play their own movies and games.

“People have access to so much content at home, which is why we are looking to facilitate that content in our properties.”

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