It's finally here. Yesterday Apple finally released details of the its new Watch. Starting at $349 and going up to a whopping $10,000, the new device is set to do to timepieces what the iPhone did to lowly mobile phone in the days of keypads and flip phones. We found out in Tim Cook's keynote that the phone will allow you to read e-mails, connect with friends and make calls, all without taking the phone out of your pocket. Handy.
So what does it mean for hotels?
Put simply, it means there's an opportunity to improve the guest experience even further. There are a number of forward thinking brands that have the time and resource to embrace this kind of technology and have been making their announcements alongside Apple.
Last year both Hilton and Starwood announced that their rooms were to go keyless, which not only saves time at check-in but also provides a superior guest experience that has technology at its heart. It's no wonder then that Starwood yesterday announced its Apple Watch app as part of its SPG Keyless programme. It will allow guests staying at one of 150 W, Aloft or Element properties to open their room with the tap of the wrist (watch).
This will provide ample bragging rights for early adopters and with the hefty Watch price tag it's safe to say there's a likely overlap in target audiences. As with most new technology, battery life is likely to be a prohibitor for widespread adoption right now but with time, this sort of innovation will continue to improve guests experiences as the technology becomes cheaper and rolled out more broadly.
By the end of April, Starwood says it will have updated the locks to over 30,000 rooms to enable SPG Keyless. Will you be one of the first to try it?