By Rahul Odedra
Hotel operator develops app to be available for its W Hotels-branded properties from spring 2015
The highly-anticipated Apple Watch was finally unveiled earlier this week, and taking centre stage at the launch event was a sneak peek of an app which will allow guests to use the device to unlock their hotel rooms.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is behind the app, which is for its Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty programme and will be available for use at its W Hotels-branded properties around the world from spring 2015.
As Apple vice president of technology Kevin Lynch explained on stage at the launch event, guests will be able to unlock their doors by simply holding the Apple Watch in front of it and tapping the screen.
The device itself will become available in early 2015, priced from US$349, although users will also need to have a compatible iPhone to use with it.
Starwood’s early foray into this new technology is not particularly surprising, considering the fact that the company is also the first hotelier to embrace Google Glass with an SPG app.
Meanwhile, the use of mobile technology to unlock hotel rooms has gained traction recently, with Hilton Worldwide announcing that it will roll out a service next year which will allow guests to unlock their doors with their smartphone.