Starwood and Classwave Partner to Develop Software Using Bluetooth Technology to Provide Hotel Guest

Classwave Wireless Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Thursday announced that they have entered into a strategic relationship to develop and deploy software applications for the travel industry using Bluetooth technology.
Starwood will utilize Classwave`s Polyphony Server and Professional Services Group to deliver a suite of mobile data and voice services to its hotel guests and employees. These innovative applications, adapted specifically for the travel and lodging sector, will provide a new class of wireless service to hotel guests staying at any Starwood property worldwide. This strategic partnership evidences the global opportunity and value of Bluetooth wireless access in the hospitality marketplace.
Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels and resorts including the St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton and W brands. Classwave Wireless is the market leading provider of Bluetooth Network Infrastructure (BTNI) solutions that ``intelligently`` manage and route personalized information to and from mobile Bluetooth devices.
The two companies expect to commence user trials, enabled by Classwave`s Polyphony Server, in the summer of 2001.
“Today`s announcement with Classwave reinforces our ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the ultimate guest experience by utilizing the latest innovations in technology,” said Tom Conophy, chief technology officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Working with a partner like Classwave will enable Starwood to deliver a new level of information and service to its guests and employees through emerging wireless technologies. We are confident that Classwave has both the talent and vision to usher in a new suite of applications that will enhance the guest experience and further improve our hotel operations.”
Bluetooth wireless technology makes it possible to connect any portable and stationary communications device without a cable or line of sight. Hardware vendors are starting to ship a wide range of mobile Bluetooth-enabled devices, from mobile phones to laptops. Soon, the technology will appear in many consumer electronic devices including Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and MP3 players. Vendors are also beginning to ship a new category of device called a Bluetooth Access Point, which enables users of Bluetooth devices to gain easy access to a local intranet, as well as Internet-based content. Classwave`s Polyphony Server provides the intelligence for Bluetooth networks by managing the devices, media format and content delivery through the network access points and other wireless communication channels, including cellular networks.
“There are many exciting developments occurring for Bluetooth in vertical markets using public access points and location-based services. Bluetooth will offer the hospitality industry a great way to provide guests with helpful guidance and information to make their stay more enjoyable,`` said Joyce Putscher, director, Consumer and Converging Markets and Technologies Group, Cahners In-Stat Group.
Classwave`s Polyphony Server routes personalized, location-sensitive content to and through mobile devices, access points and other Bluetooth-enabled devices. Utilizing the Polyphony Server`s network management tools, dynamic directory services, session management, multi-level security and device rendering capabilities, an enterprise with a network of access points and mobile users can access the Internet and intranet, create ad hoc personal mobile networks and conduct m-commerce.
“We are pleased that a global market leader like Starwood has recognized the value in Classwave`s technology and vision and has chosen us as their partner,” said Tom Sweeney, president and CEO, Classwave. “Polyphony Server will enable Starwood to easily create new revenue streams and business models by delivering mobile personal networks for the dynamic delivery of content within their properties worldwide.”