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Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Symbol Technologies and IBM Check-In With New Curb Side Mobile Computing Application That Allows Guests To Skip The Front Desk

Symbol Handheld Computers, Wireless LAN Technology, Key to Enhanced Customer Service

ORLANDO, FL - 26 Jun 2001: Imagine bypassing long lines at a hotel check-in counter and heading straight to the elevators and your hotel room. Now Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL), Galaxy Hotel Systems, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), IBM and Computerized Security Systems (CSS) -- Saflok have developed a solution for weary travelers and time-starved road warriors that allows them to check-in at the curb, avoiding the traditional reception queues.

The new mobile guest check-in solution, a wireless mobile computing application that brings a new level of customer service and convenience to travelers, will be demonstrated by all four companies at the HITEC 2001 show (Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference) in Orlando, FL.

The system is currently being used at the Sheraton Hotel in Parsippany, NJ. Starwood also plans to implement the solution in many of its Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, Luxury Collection and W Hotels.

Equipped with a Symbol handheld computer and a mini-printer, hotel agents can check in guests, process credit cards, print receipts and program room keys at the curb, in the lobby or any other location in the hotel. The Starwood "Starwalker" system was developed by all four companies, and features IBM middleware, hardware, software and mobile and wireless technology to integrate a hotel's property management system with the mobile device.

"This specialized technology creates a more pleasurable travel experience. With shorter lines and less hassles, our guests have more valuable time to relax, get work done or have fun," said Danny Hudson, VP, Property Technology Strategy, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "We believe that StarWalker will helprefine even further the quality of service that Starwood is internationally known for."

The mobile guest check-in solution employs the Symbol SPT1740 Palm OS web-enabled handheld computer, integrated with Symbol's Spectrum 24® wireless LAN. The pocket-sized SPT1740 features a bar code scanner and pen access that allows hotel agents to perform a complete check-in, as well as make changes to a reservation, retrieve messages and other task that are typically performed at a fixed computer at the front desk. A mini Symbol PEP (Portable Encoding Printer) produces receipts and programs room keys.

"We're seeing a demand for mobile computing and wireless solutions similar to mobile check-in among a variety of vertical markets, such as air travel, retail, healthcare and package delivery, where saving time and improving customer satisfaction is critical," said Tomo Razmilovic, President and CEO, Symbol Technologies. "Hospitality is one of our new and promising markets. With our core strengths built around wireless mobile computing and our strong partner relationships, Symbol provides the ideal technology solution to the vertical marketplace."

IBM developed the application software that integrates the whole system and handled the integration, customization, installation and technical support services for the solution. IBM xSeries e-Server,running WebSphere e-infrastructure software, and MQSeries middleware are also part of the application.

"Weaving together all the behind-the-scenes components in order to move the front desk function to wherever the guests may be -- whether they're hopping out of a cab, in a meeting or at a gaming table in a casino -- involves a lot of hard work and technical expertise," said Mike Hulley, vice president, IBM Global Travel & Transportation Industry. "This application allowed IBM to flex its 'integration muscles', and showcases how leading technology companies can work together to make the travel experience more convenient."

Saflok's electronic locking system was also used in the application to program the room keys. "Saflokr will continue to be seen as the leader in building security and management systems for the hospitality industry. Through continued innovation and strategic partnering, we look forward to integrating our technologies to provide solutions that enable our customers to set new standards in guest convenience and front desk efficiency," explained Glenn Peacock, director of marketing for CSS --Saflok.

Contact(s) information

Linda Hanson
IBM Media Relations
(914) 642-5447
hansonmu@us.ibm.com

Mark Ricci
Starwood Hotels
(914) 640-8496
mark.ricci@starwoodhotels.com

Doug Picker
Symbol Technologies
picker@symbol.com
kwolf@brodeur.com

Glenn Peacock
IBM
CSS- Saflok
Glenn.peacock@saflok.com

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