Whenever I go through the contents of my wallet, I always find a few plastic hotel room keycards. I know you’re not supposed to keep them but I often manage to accidentally. Each inactivated keycard is a symbol of an experience, one specific, unrepeatable moment in time—a New Jersey snowstorm, a Seattle conference, a Baltimore fling. Every small, cheap, rectangular bit of logo-boasting plastic in my wallet serves as a reminder that, for at least one night in my past, I was somewhere different.
But my nostalgic bit of plastic is about to be a thing of the past.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide recently announced its plan to unveil a virtual smartphone key that would allow guests to circumvent the front desk check-in ritual. With nothing more than the flick of a wrist—and Bluetooth capabilities—guests will be able to enter their rooms.
A virtual key is the latest innovation for an industry that prizes efficiency of service. But the move is also a departure from what guests really want in a hotel stay: personalization.
READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Why the disappearance of hotel room keys marks the end of hospitality – Quartz.