The Smartphone-Enabled Hotel Room Keys Have Arrived

Read original story on: 9to5Mac

Starting today, guests staying at ten selected Starwood hotels will be able to use their iPhone (and, in the spring, Apple Watch) to unlock their hotel doors with the new SPG Keyless service. Based on Bluetooth LE (instead of NFC), the virtual keys will work with all iPhones from the 4S onward. Similarly, Hilton Worldwide has announced that it will be introducing its own smartphone key system next year as well. More Internet of Things could be expected to be applied in the hospitality industry in the near future.

Jawbone Releases Up24

After several attempts, Jawbone is finally putting out a Bluetooth-based piece of fitness tracking hardware: the Up24. Jawbone has previously refused to put out Bluetooth devices because of both battery life and physical constraints, but upon the wider acceptance of Bluetooth Low Energy, Jawbone has finally warmed to the idea of a BLE device. Now, whether it’s too little too late for Jawbone – who risked falling behind to competitors FitBit – will have to be seen in the sales of the product this holiday season.

Nokia Treasure Tags Help You Find Your Keys

Bluetooth Low Energy has a lot of potential to change the way our mobile devices interact with the environment around us, and applications of the technology for device tracking are only the tip of the iceberg.  Tile, a startup that crowd funded $2.7 million for a Bluetooth Low Energy-based device-tracking chip, was  proof of the viability of a concept now being adopted by Nokia for its Lumia phones in the form of a “Treasure Tag.”  The Treasure Tag uses a combination of Bluetooth Low Energy and NFC technology used for mobile wallets to track whatever the tag is attached to, like a set of keys, from an app on the phone.  The process also works in reverse, allowing the user to press a button on the tag to trigger a sound on the phone, so long as it’s within about 160 feet.  Battery life is a concern with these devices, as Treasure Tag only lasts about 6 months (Tile advertises a 12 month lifespan), but the technology could have us all spending a lot less time hunting for our keys.