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Starwood rolls out smartphone-based room keys, starting with 10 of its hotels

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Depending on your sensibilities, smart locks might not make much sense in the home -- we don't know, maybe you can't break your keys habit or something. But we think we can all agree on this: Smart locks make a hell of a lot of sense in hotels. Think about it: Those plastic room keys are easy to lose anyway, and they don't always work properly on first swipe. Indeed, the hotel giant Starwood is already on it. Following a pilot test earlier this year, the company is rolling out Bluetooth locks in 10 of its hotels, with more to come early next year.

Gallery: SPG Keyless screenshots | 3 Photos

Even by now, you should already have a pretty good idea of how the "keyless" system works, but here's a more detailed rundown. First, you'll need to register your phone through a one-time setup and also allow push notifications. Twenty-four hours before your scheduled arrival, you'll be prompted to opt in to the keyless program, assuming you're staying at a hotel that offers it. You'll get a push notification when you're checked in and when the room is ready, allowing you to bypass the front desk. And, of course, the app knows which room you're in, so don't worry about that. Then, just make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone, open the Starwood Preferred Guest app, hold the phone to the door lock, wait for a solid green light and, voila, you're all set.

For the time being, at least, the tech is limited to 10 hotels in New York, LA, Beijing, Hong Kong and Doha, including the Aloft Beijing, Aloft Cancun, Aloft Cupertino, Aloft Harlem, W Doha, W Hollywood, W Hong Kong, W New York-Downtown, W Singapore and Element Times Square. From there, the company hopes to roll it out to 140 more locations by early 2015 (again, these are Aloft, Element and W hotels, specifically). If you get to try it out soon, let us know how it goes -- and take extra care not to leave your phone at the hotel bar.

In this article: fullbleed, starwood
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