Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mobile Key - Great Concept, Perfect App Execution, but... It Doesn't Work (yet)

I really like the concept of unlocking hotel room doors using my iPhone: one less thing not to forget when getting ready for a day of meetings, when hitting he hotel's gym, or visiting the lounge for a late drink.

So I was quite excited last week when the Marriott Mobile App informed me that the Marriott Marquis Washington D.C., at which I had booked a room for three nights, offered a "Mobile Key" option. At the hotel, a large banner touted its benefits.

Upon checking-in, I asked the clerk about the Mobile Key option. He told me they were "still working the kinks" and suggested I do take the hotel's standard plastic keys. A good call!

As far as app design, Marriott did a perfect job: the screens are informative, well-designed, and make the experience seamless. You can see for yourself below (click each screenshot to enlarge). However, one tiny little thing ruined the experience: though I tried multiple times, the phone consistently failed to open the door. Once it works, and does so reliably and consistently, I'll be thrilled to use Mobile Key. Until then, I'll still carry a plastic key.