The Digital Hotel Key

Generally, I’m not in favor of consolidating important stuff onto my phone, e.g. credit cards, etc. because if I lose my phone, I’ll lose all that stuff too.

However, I’ve been waiting to try out a digital hotel key, i.e. using my phone to unlock my hotel room. Only a few hotels and hotel chains have this technology in place, and recently, I finally stayed at one that does, the Hilton San Jose.

Much to my surprise, and Noel’s (@noelportugal), the digital key doesn’t use NFC. We’d assumed it would, given NFC is fairly common in newer hotels.

Nope, it uses Bluetooth, and when you get close to your room or any door you have access to unlock, e.g. the fitness center, the key enables.

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Then, touch to unlock, just like it says, and within a second or so, the door is unlocked. It’s not instantaneous, like using the key, which uses NFC, but still pretty cool.

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Ironically, the spare, physical key they gave me for “just in case” scenarios failed to work. I made the mistake of leaving my phone in the room to charge, taking the spare key while I ran downstairs to get some food, and the physical key didn’t work.

Anyway, the feature worked as expected, which is always a win. Those plastic keys won’t disappear anytime soon, and if you lose your phone while you’re using the digital hotel key, you’re extra hosed.

Still, I liked it and will definitely use it again whenever it’s available because it made me feel like future man and stuff.

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AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

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