aloft

Guests at two boutique hotels in Manhattan and Cupertino will soon be able to skip the check-in desk and go directly to their room, using an Android app to unlock the door. The WSJ reports that the Aloft Hotel will launch the new service this quarter.

Guests at these properties will receive a message on a Starwood app containing a virtual key, which will unlock the door with a tap or twist of their phone through the use of Bluetooth technology. The company says the iPhone 4s or newer models and the Android phones running 4.3 or newer will be compatible … 

Other hotel chains are known to be working on the same idea, and Starwood – the group that owns the Aloft Hotels – believes it will quickly become the norm.

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-controlled door locks look set to be one of the must-have products for gadget lovers this year, with several companies planning to launch locks aimed at home owers in the spring. These include the Okidokeys starting at $179, and the August available for pre-order now from $199.

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