Apple and World of Hyatt agreement on digital keys

Digital key arrives thanks to agreement between Apple and Hyatt

Among the many things you can do with an iPhone and an Apple Watch is also the ability to use the devices to open the doors of your hotel room. The novelty was presented by the Californian company during the last edition of WWDC, the developers’ conference, as one of the most exciting features of the iOS 15 operating system, and now it has become reality thanks to the partnership with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a multinational company active in the entertainment and management of hotels and resorts, present with different brands in more than 60 countries.

No apps to launch, no cards to search for in your pockets, because to open the door equipped with NFC technology with the phone in your hand, or by bringing your wrist close, you just need to use the latest version of the operating system for iPhone and watchOS8 for Apple Watch, with which you can unlock the locks of all common areas that require a magnetic card for entry, such as gyms, elevators and swimming pools. As is already the case with airline tickets or movie tickets, once the reservation is made, the key can be added to the Wallet using the application of the hotel group, World of Hyatt, so that when you arrive at your destination and your room is ready, you can go directly to the bed or shower, without having to go through the reception.

Hyatt room key in Apple Wallet on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021 in Chicago. (Jean-Marc Giboux/AP Images for Hyatt)

This is because on the virtual key will be shown the room number and the time when it will be available after cleaning, while for any changes (for example to extend the stay or wanting to change room) the electronic key is updated automatically. All the moves listed so far are possible after checking in, always via the app, as well as once the reservation is finished and the check-out is filed, the virtual key will stop working.

To save time and reset the steps, the system developed allows you to take advantage of Express Mode to open the room door without having to unlock the device, while in case the iPhone is close to running out of battery power, unlocking is still assured for the five hours guaranteed by Power Reserve Mode. In this case, in fact, with the latest versions of Apple’s smartphone, pressing the side button shows the low battery icon, along with text indicating that the swipe cards and keys are available for use. With the exception of voluntarily turning off the device, in short, there should be no other potential problems in crossing the threshold of the room.

At the moment, guests at the chain’s six hotels, all located in the United States, will be able to enjoy the convenient new feature: Hyatt Regency Long Beach, Hyatt House Dallas/Richardson, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort (Hawaii), Hyatt House Chicago/West Loop-Fulton Market, Hyatt Place Fremont/Silicon Valley and Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa. Hyatt plans to roll out the system to all of its hotels over time, starting with the US market and then expanding to the rest of the world.

Alessio Caprodossi is a technology, sports, and lifestyle journalist. He navigates between three areas of expertise, telling stories, experiences, and innovations to understand how the world is shifting. You can follow him on Twitter (@alecap23) and Instagram (Alessio Caprodossi) to report projects and initiatives on startups, sustainability, digital nomads, and web3.