Ever lost a hotel key card? Many of us probably don’t want to admit that it has happened before, though. Back in August, Hilton rolled out an update to their HHonors app on iOS, that allowed users to use their phone as a key to their hotel room. Now, Hilton has updated their Android app to do the same thing, through Digital Key. You will need to be a part of Hilton’s HHonors program to use the Digital Key though. And it will also work across all 11 brands of Hilton hotels. However, you can easily sign up for HHonors, as it is completely free. It’s basically Hilton’s membership for those that stay frequently in their hotels.
Hilton says that they will have over 170,000 doors compatible with Digital Key by Q1 2016. And that includes about 250 US Hilton properties. So you’ll now be able to use your smartphone to open up your hotel room door with ease. Hilton is also boasting that their HHonors app has been downloaded over 584,000 times just in 2015. Hilton also stated “this strong guest adoption is a true testament to travelers’ desire for more digital autonomy and Hilton is responding by introducing new and helpful digital tools that make traveling easier and more convenient.”
The Digital Key gives you access to more than just your room though. The app can also open the elevators, side doors, fitness centers and even parking garages (of course this all depends on what hotel you are at). Just simply pull up the app while you’re near the door, and tap on the unlock screen and boom the door is unlocked. The way it works is, it sends a Bluetooth signal between your smartphone and the door lock. And through Bluetooth it connects and automatically unlocks the door. To use Digital Key, you will need an iPhone 4S or newer running on iOS 8 or later, or an Android device that is running Android 4.3 or later. However it does need to have Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE. As that is the technology being used here with Digital Key.
Now with Digital Key, you can choose to either stick with the Digital Key through the app, or get a regular key card, or use both. But being able to go sightseeing and such and not need to keep track of that key card is a nice feature. Having it all done through the app installed on your phone is definitely a good way to get us to stay at a Hilton hotel next time around.