Home » Gadgets » Hilton Digital Key in the Kurztest: When the iPhone opens the hotel door

Hilton Digital Key in the Kurztest: When the iPhone opens the hotel door

Friday, August 18th, 2017 | Gadgets

The smartphone is not only to replace paper, but also various sparking smartcards such as in the local transport or in the hotel. We recently had a chance to try out the system at a Hilton Garden Inn in Singapore (Little India). With a smartphone the smartcards no longer need it. Instead the door is opened by app. For some visitors this may be faster than the small check card from the wallet.

Technically this does not work as we expected it. The NFC chip in smartphones, be it an Android phone or an iPhone, is not used to emulate the card-radio technology. Instead, Bluetooth is used. This means for the hotel operator: double infrastructure. The doors, entrance areas or elevators must not only support traditional smartcards, but also receive Bluetooth signals.

    During our visit to the Hilton Garden Inn … (Foto: Andreas Sebayang / Golem.de)

This does not work immediately. During the digital check-in the evening before the arrival in Singapore we were pointed out the digital key, but it was not yet usable. Upon arrival we had to go to reception. In the case of an afternoon arriving, this could be connected with queues, since the credit card is used for the pre-authorization of an amount. In our case, however, there was no queue. Due to a delay of our medium-range flight we arrived only after 2 o'clock in the night.
Too late for the digital key
This was then also a problem: For the release of the digital key, we should have arrived before 11pm. Although the front desk tried to make the release possible, but it did not work. So we got the typical smartcard key. We needed it to select our floor in the elevator, otherwise he will not go. And of course for the hotel door.

In the course of the night, the key was unlocked. However, we have nothing to do with it. Just because we were looking around the Hilton app for a moment, we saw the functional digital key.
The next morning we could try this out. That was not so easy. The Hilton app is inefficiently programmed and jerky on our iPhone SE in front of you. Sometimes the app will stop for 10 seconds. The smartphone is fast enough for 3D games, but the Hilton App interface probably needs a supercomputer. That's how it feels in any case.


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