The chain will work in a joint venture with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group to test facial recognition check-ins at two China hotels this month, the firms said on Wednesday, with ambitions for a global rollout later.
China is spearheading the use of facial recognition for everything from helping control major live events to ordering fast-food, but also bolstering a growing domestic surveillance system that has raised fears among human rights activists of privacy being invaded.
The joint venture said the new technology would help guests jump queues and cut the check-in process to less than a minute, compared to at least three minutes at a normal counter.
Chinese guests will need to scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on an automated machine, the firms said. The device will then dispense room key cards after verifying identities and booking information.