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Wearables Authors: Kevin Benedict, Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Jim Kaskade, SmartBear Blog

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Starwood Hotels & Resorts Designs a New Look for Tech-Savvy Travelers with the SPG App for Google Glass

Developing for Google Glass, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today introduced a new SPG app that is the first from a hospitality company to leverage this emerging, wearable technology platform. Creating new ways to be closer to its guests, Starwood’s new SPG app for Google Glass extends the company’s leadership and adoption of the latest digital technologies.

The new SPG app for Google Glass empowers mobile travelers with a new view as they explore destinations and book stays at nearly 1,200 hotels worldwide. The new experience will enable guests to review their SPG account and immerse themselves in any of Starwood’s nine, design-led brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®.

“Travelers are more tech-savvy than ever before, and wearable technology is the newest platform that provides information in an easy to access way to support the needs of our guests and enhance their travel experience,” said Chris Holdren, SVP SPG and Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Our goal is to explore these new technologies and learn from our guests’ interactions with them so we can continue to deliver the best experiences at every point in their journey – from when our guests are dreaming about their next destination to when they walk in our front door and beyond.”

The SPG app for Google Glass was designed and built entirely by Starwood’s internal team of tech experts with the goal of delivering a seamless experience for its guests. The app is designed to assist travelers in each stage of their journey - from imaginative destination exploration to practical logistics planning before, during, and after a visit - all within a quick, easy, and streamlined format valued by on-the-go users of wearable technology. The SPG app for Google Glass is the only Glass app currently available that enables booking a stay at any of Starwood’s hotels around the world.

The personalized interface of the SPG app for Google Glass is ideal for any Glass Explorer, whether the guest is searching for upcoming business trips or a long summer vacation. The app provides users with critical account information, including number of Starpoints and upcoming and past stays to help travelers make the most of their SPG membership.

SPG app for Google Glass Highlights:

  • Built for Glass: The SPG app for Google Glass takes advantage of Glass’s unique features, including voice command search and geo location, and is one of the first apps built on the new Glass Developer Kit.
  • Search & Book: Members can voice search Starwood’s nearly 1,200 global hotels and resorts by destination, airport code or checking what’s nearby.
  • Explore Hotels: Members can call or get turn-by-turn directions to any hotel and can also explore and share photos of the hotel amenities, rooms, local area, and more.
  • Your SPG: Members can access up-to-date account information including Starpoint balance and upcoming stay details.
  • State Aware: Like the SPG smartphone and iPad apps, the SPG app for Google Glass uses state aware technology to display upcoming stays, recognize arrival at a Starwood property, and customize the user experience accordingly.

“Being the first in the hospitality industry to introduce an app for Google Glass illustrates our larger strategy to be the industry-leading digital innovator,” said Clay Cowan, VP Global Digital for Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Starwood’s agility and scope has established our brands as early tech adopters, and we plan to maintain our lead with our innovative work in the digital space.”

The release of the SPG app for Google Glass beta product allows the Google Explorer network to give direct feedback to Starwood’s design and development teams, providing deeper insight into how different channels are used and what makes them meaningful to users. This insight, coupled with the in-house tech talent, will allow Starwood to continue enhancing the SPG app for Google Glass and develop other wearable technology products that best respond to the desires of the SPG community and further cement Starwood’s reputation as a leader in digital innovation.

The SPG app for Google Glass is now available to Google Glass Explorers. More information on the SPG app for Google Glass can be found at www.spg.com/glass.

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About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,200 properties in 100 countries, and 181,400 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element®. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About Starwood Preferred Guest
Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites each of Starwood’s 9 distinctive hotel brands and includes more luxury hotels in more destinations around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, SPG MomentsSM, and most recently Your24TM and SPG LifetimeTM. In addition to Free Night Awards at over 1,100 hotels and resorts and Award Flights on over 350 major airlines without blackout dates, the Starpoints® that members earn through SPG can be redeemed for access like no other to experiences in music, sports and the arts through SPG Moments. SPG also has an ongoing commitment to digital innovation to meet the needs of today’s connected global traveler – from the SPG app for iPhone that utilizes state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay to Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee on SPG.com, to SPG’s integration within various social media platforms. Offerings such as these have helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers. Learn more at spg.com and spg.com/moments and connect with us on twitter.com/spg, instagram.com/spg, facebook.com/spg, foursquare.com/spg, pinterest.com/spglife, and youtube.com/spg.

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