Use A Smartphone As Hotel Room Key

Next week I will be traveling, visiting family and friends in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Because of my travel plans, this USA Today article about a pilot that Holiday Inn hotels is doing caught my attention…

Holiday Inn to test smartphone as hotel-room key

The Holiday Inn hotel chain is running a trial at two hotels, using technology from OpenWays that enables one to open hotel room doors by playing an encrypted, unique audio code. The code would be sent from the hotel’s computers to the door of the room so that when you arrive you don’t need to check-in at the front desk, you just go up to the room, which I assume you are assigned when you make the reservation, and play the audio code. You would get a link to the audio code in the reservation confirmation e-mail.

Participation is optional and requires the installation of an application on the smartphone. Applications will be available for iPhones, Android phones, and Blackberries. Holiday Inn anticipates that if the pilot is successful and the decision were made to implement the technology on a broader scale, it would be implemented for a limited number of rooms at each hotel due to the implementation costs. When you make a reservation you would need to specify that you wanted one of these rooms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the hotels added an extra fee to get the rooms, particularly if demand was high.

Because I carry my smartphone everywhere, I think this is a great idea. In fact, on a trip I recently made I needed my hotel room’s magnetic strip key reprogrammed several times because I kept putting the key in the same pocket as my smartphone and it kept being demagnetized. I am all for having one less item to worry about carrying around.

Publish date: May 27, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT