Have you ever walked out of your hotel room but left the room key behind? Of course you have. It probably happened when you were in a rush, or in a caffeine-deprived state – perhaps both.
That's set to become a thing of the past, at least at a handful of Hyatt properties, as the hotel group begins the rollout of 'contactless key technology' baked into the Apple Wallet app of iPhones and Apple Watches.
As long as you're also a member of the World of Hyatt loyalty program, a swipe of your iPhone or Apple Watch will unlock not only your room but key card-protected common areas like elevators, swimming pools and gyms.
It's an advance on the hotel app-based smart keys already offered by the likes of Hyatt and Hilton, and is now available at six US properties: the Hyatt Regency Long Beach, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt House Dallas/Richardson, Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley, and the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.
Julia Vander Ploeg, Hyatt's Senior Vice President and Global Head of Digital and Technology, describes the Apple Wallet room keys as "an easy, convenient and secure room key option for our guests when they travel."
"Many consumer technologies evolve through a 'tipping point' that drives a change in adoption. We believe our collaboration with Apple on this new approach to room keys in Apple Wallet can be exactly that."
From within the World of Hyatt app, members can add their room key to Apple Wallet once their reservation is complete.
The Apple Wallet room key will be updated to let them know when it's time for check-in, with the door unlocked by holding their device near the door's NFC-enabled lock.
Using Apple Wallet's Express Mode, guests won't even need to unlock their device to use their digital key – and if their device needs to be charged, they can still use it to unlock their room for up to five hours thanks to automatic Power Reserve.
If a guest needs to access late checkout, extend their stay or even change rooms, the hotel can update the Apple Wallet room key remotely, so there's no need to visit the front desk to obtain a new key or have the existing one re-coded.