Skift Take

It will be hard for the chain not to succeed when it's being so under-ambitious.

What to Know Now

Digital room keys are perhaps one of the most exciting facets of the Internet of Things that may soon actually help business travelers. The concept is simple: check in with a mobile device and then get a digital “key” that allows you to electronically open your door once you get to your room.

It’s a straightforward solution to a widespread problem — only it’s much more complicated than it actually sounds. Linking rooms to itineraries to travelers to smartphones takes an ocean of data and it only takes one weak link for the entire chain to break.

Starwood was the pioneer here, and it quickly learned it wasn’t simple to outfit thousands of doors with new readers. Now, Hilton is about to begin its own journey. According to Skift’s Alexandra E. Petri, the hotel chain has digital keys available in five properties but plans to introduce them to all domestic Hilton, Waldorf Astoria and Conrad properties through the end of 2015 into early 2016. While Hilton Worldwide started slowly with the five properties, its plans are global. The key is not yet available abroad, as Hilton notes there are different international laws and regulations when checking in to hotels that it needs to sort out.

Hilton’s approach may be more deliberate in pace than Starwood’s was. It all attests to the challenge of making changes on such a large scale.

Social Quote of the Day

2,500 HHonors bonus points when you use Digital Key on the Hilton HHonors app –

– @MightyTravels 



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Hilton Facebook


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Your Turn

Runwaygirl Network has a new video series. Called #paxexnetwork, the first episode is here.

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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: Hilton's new keyless entry app. Hilton Worldwide / Hilton Worldwide

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