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Hilton to replace hotel room key with mobile phone

Hotel group to begin rolling out technology to streamline check-in and check-out process

Hilton to replace hotel room key with mobile phone
Hotel key cards will be replaced by smartphones at Hilton Hotels.

Hilton Worldwide is to begin rolling out technology next year which will allow guests to unlock their doors with their smartphone, doing away with the need for a key or card.

It is one of a number of digital initiatives announced by the hotel group to streamline the check-in and check-out process at properties around the world.

By the end of this year, guests will be able to check in and choose their exact room from digital floor plans, as well as make purchases or special requests, through their their mobile devices, tablets and computers.

The company has also committed to allowing guests to use their smartphones as room keys in all of its rooms worldwide. Four of its brands in the US will have this technology by the end of next year, while the majority of rooms around the world will have it by the end of 2016.

"Travellers 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," said Hilton Worldwide president and CEO Christopher Nassetta.

"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."

By the end of this summer, Hilton HHonors members will be able to 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.

The functionality will also be available at DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Hotels properties within the US this autumn.

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.

Digital check-out, currently available at all U.S. hotels, will be rolled out globally by the end of 2016.

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