Hilton has installed its Digital Key technology at more than 4,250 properties over the past five years.
Technology that allows hotel guests to use their phones as room keys is expanding, taking aim at those environmentally unfriendly plastic cards.
The demonstration using the cellphone as a digital hotel room key didn’t quite go as planned. The hotel manager held his phone up to the room’s door lock and nothing happened. Realizing his Bluetooth was turned off, he tried again. Now the door’s sensor flashed green, while the phone screen informed him that the door was unlocked.
Like the majority of travelers, I had never before used a mobile hotel key, even though the first version of the system was installed nearly a decade ago. Today, about a million hotel rooms worldwide are estimated to have some version of a lock that can accept a cellphone-generated digital key, according to Nicolas Aznar, president of the Americas division of the Swedish-based lock maker Assa Abloy. Hotels are accelerating the installation of these systems to increase revenue, drive customers to their loyalty sites, and offer a better guest experience.