Here’s a first look at the iPhone’s handy hotel room key feature


iOS 15 and watchOS 8 introduce the ability to add hotel room keys to the Wallet app on iPhone and Apple Watch, allowing you to access your room, elevators and other areas locked by simply pressing your iPhone or Apple Watch against a card reader. This feature eliminates the need for a traditional plastic room card.

Last month, the Hyatt hotel chain became the first to adopt the feature at six U.S. locations, including Andaz Maui at the Wailea Resort, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt House Dallas/ Richardson, Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley and Hyatt Regency Long Beach.

KTLARich DeMuro of recently visited the Long Beach site to test out the feature, as seen in a video spotted by the blog Appleosophy.

Using the Hyatt app, hotel guests can add their room key to the Wallet app after making a reservation, and they will be notified when check-in time arrives. Once a guest is checked in and the room is ready, the room key in the Wallet app will be activated for immediate use and will display the guest’s room number and duration of the reservation.

DeMuro tested the feature with Express Mode enabled, which means the iPhone doesn’t need to be unlocked to use as a hotel room key. The process was quick and seamless, allowing her to access her room and the elevator in a fraction of a second. Express Mode can be disabled for users who prefer an extra layer of security.

If the ‌iPhone‌ runs out of battery, an automatic power reserve feature allows the device to be used as a hotel key for up to five hours.

Hotel room keys in the Wallet app are both convenient and can provide a contactless experience. If a Hyatt guest needs to change rooms, extend a stay, or request a late checkout, the hotel can remotely update the guest’s room key in the Wallet app, eliminating the need for the guest to check in at the reception. When it’s time to check out, guests can do so through the Hyatt app and the room key will be deactivated remotely.

Hyatt plans to roll out hotel room keys in the Wallet app globally over time, and other hotel chains are likely to follow, but functionality remains limited at this time.

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