What you need to know
- iPhones and Apple Watches can now be used as hotel room keys at specific locations.
- Someone took an iPhone to the Long Beach Hyatt Regency to test digital room keys out.
- Room keys set up in Wallet will work even when the device is powered down.
Apple added support for hotel keys being added to the Wallet app with its recent software updates and now we've been given our first look at how they work in the real world.
Introduced as part of watchOS 8 and iOS 15, the hotel room keys feature is only available at select Wyatt locations right now. In fact, there are only six of them in total. But KTLA's Rich DeMuro headed to one of those locations to test out how the new Wallet-based keys work. Appleosophy was the first to spot the video.
The video shows how things work but it's pretty much how you might expect. Keys are added to the Wallet app and are valid for the specific room and visit length associated with the reservation. After that, it's just a case of putting the iPhone or Apple Watch near the reader on the room's door and walking in. It's like magic, but with a minibar and free slippers.
Just like Apple Pay Express Transit, the new room key feature doesn't need the iPhone or Apple Watch to be powered on which is a huge deal for those who already suffer from battery anxiety. While Hyatt only has a handful of locations online now, more will surely come and it is likely to only be a matter of time before other large hotel companies join in as well.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
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