Starwood Hotels and Resorts made a great decision to implement a new pilot program with iBeacon that will see two key hotel locations in Manhattan and Silicon Valley. It allows the guest to enter their rooms with their smartphones.
After installing the Starwood Preferred Guest (SGP) App, guests will receive a virtual key on their iPhone, which can then be used to unlock a door with a tap using Bluetooth 4.0.
Starwood officials are betting that the technology will become the standard for hotels in the future, replacing traditional hotel check-in methods.
“We believe this will become the new standard for how people will want to enter a hotel,” says Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s CEO. “It may be a novelty at first, but we think it will become table stakes for managing a hotel.”
Bluetooth 4.0 (or Bluetooth LE) is being utilized in a number of innovative ways. It is also the driving technology behind Apple’s iBeacons, which are rapidly being implemented in retail stores and other locations across the world to deliver location-based notifications.
Two Starwood Aloft hotels, in Harlem, New York and Cupertino, California, will be updated with the Bluetooth 4.0 technology during the first quarter of 2014. Starwood has plans to roll out the system at all of its locations by the end of 2015 should the pilot program be successful.