Hilton is betting $500M that mobile will give it an edge in the hotel wars

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Hilton is investing half a billion dollars in mobile technology to enable guests to choose their room, check in, unlock their door, order room service and check out using their mobile devices.

By the end of this year, mobile check-in and room selection will be available at more than 4,000 Hilton properties worldwide for Android and Apple device users, the company relates.

Next year, Hilton will begin equipping its hotel rooms with technology so smartphones can be used as room keys. The hotel chain expects that a majority of its rooms will be equipped with this technology by the end of 2016.

"We analyzed data and feedback from more than 40 million HHonors members, as well as guest surveys, social media posts and review sites, and it's clear that guests want greater choice and control," says Geraldine Calpin, senior vice president and global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide.

"In fact, in a recent study, 84 percent of business travelers surveyed said they wanted the ability to choose their own room.  We are giving our guests the ability to do just that by enabling them to select not just their room type, but the exact location in the hotel, all the way down to their room number," she adds.

Hilton's competitors, such as Starwood, Marriott and InterContinental, have also begun offering mobile features to guests at some of their hotels, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

"It's a race for loyalty. There will be a first-mover advantage for the company that provides a seamless technological experience. But these companies have to constantly evolve and understand the millennial's changing preferences," Guy Langford, head of Deloitte LLP's U.S. hospitality and leisure practice, tells the Journal.

For more:
- see Hilton's release
- read the Wall Street Journal article

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