Smartphones have effectively replaced a lot of the gadgets that we used to buy, including calculators, compasses, alarm clocks and dedicated GPS trackers. And now The Wall Street Journal reports that smartphones look poised to kill off another antiquated piece of technology — hotel key cards.
Per the Journal, Hilton is planning to implement technology that will let its guests use their smartphones to open up their hotel rooms starting next year. The new integration of smartphones as hotel keys is part of a $550 million investment that Hilton is making to make it easier for guests to use their smartphones not just to unlock their rooms but to pick out their rooms and to check in and out of hotels.
Hilton is going to start rolling out this technology to its facilities in 2015, with the goal of installing it at all of its 4,200 properties by the end of 2016. Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta tells the Journal that this move is all about “giving customers unprecedented choice and control at scale, and in the palm of their hands,” and it could also have the side benefit of potentially attracting younger customers who are used to using their smartphones for just about everything as well.
No matter what, this is potentially great news for anyone who has left their hotel room without taking their key cards with them, especially since most of us just don’t go anywhere without our smartphones anymore.