Hilton Introduces Revolutionary Digital Services that include opening your Room Door with an iPhone App
Hilton revolutionizes hotel experience with digital check-in, room selection and customization, and check-out across 650,000-plus rooms at more than 4,000 properties worldwide. Hilton's promotion states that they're the first hospitality company to enable room selection and customization via mobile and web-based floor plans; Company also announces that guests will be able to use their smartphone as their room key in majority of hotel rooms by 2016. The new services will be made available on a future Apple iPhone Hilton Honors app, referred to as an HHonors app. Many of these services were forecast in Apple patents going back to 2010.
In a first for the hospitality industry, Hilton Worldwide today announced its guests will have unprecedented choice and control over their entire hotel stay with the ability to check-in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans, as well as customize their stay by purchasing upgrades and making special requests for items to be delivered to their room, on their mobile devices, tablets and computers. Guests also will be able to check-out using these personal technology devices. By the end of 2014, digital check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton Worldwide properties across 11 brands in 80-plus countries via members' Hilton Honors accounts.
Today's announcement represents the latest industry-first in Hilton's rich history of innovation. The company piloted an initial version of digital check-in more than five years ago, and in 2012 it launched Conrad Concierge, the first hospitality software application that enables guests to customize their hotel experience through their tablets or smartphones. Going forward, Hilton anticipates delivering further digital advancements to guests every six to eight weeks.
The Future of Room Keys at Hilton
As part of its digital strategy, Hilton has made a commitment to enable all of its hotel rooms worldwide with technology that will allow guests to use their smartphones as keys.
Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer, Hilton Worldwide stated that "Travelers can use their smartphones as boarding passes to get to their seats on an airplane, so it is only natural that they will want to use them as a way to enter their hotel rooms. We have spent the past few years testing a number of different options to make this vision a reality, and we are developing proprietary technology that is safe and reliable for our guests to use, and cost-effective for our hotels to install."
Rapid Roll Out Across Hilton Properties Globally
Hilton is rolling out these digital enhancements globally over the next several months:
By the end of this summer, Hilton HHonors members can check-in and choose their room from digital floor plan maps online or via the Apple and Android HHonors apps across the following U.S. brands: Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites.
By the end of 2014, room selection, either from digital floor plans or lists, will be available globally for over 650,000 rooms at more than 4,000 hotels across Hilton's portfolio of 11 brands.
In 2015, Hilton will introduce technology that enables smartphones to be used as room keys, and all U.S. hotels across four of its brands will have this capability by the end of that year. By the end of 2016, the majority of its rooms system-wide will be equipped with this functionality.
Hotel Room access via an iPhone acting as a key was first uncovered in an Apple patent application that Patently Apple covered back in 2010 titled "Apple Getting Serious about Near Field Communication on the iPhone." It'll be interesting to learn if the new digital keys will work with NFC or another Apple technology.
A secondary patent report that we posted in 2010 titled "Apple's iTravel App to Plug into Hotel Servers for In-Room Services," covers many of the future services that Hilton is stating will be rolling out over the next two years and many possible new ones. Hilton will be releasing a similar app for Android when the app rolls out.
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