Holiday Inn testing smartphone room keys.


Say goodbye to the old days of carrying around yet another piece of plastic while staying at your local Holiday Inn. Room keys will soon be a thing of the past. This concept isn’t hard to believe really. As technology and electronics evolve, it was only a matter of time before something better came along. I don’t exactly know what I was thinking of as far as “high tech” room keys go. But the solution coming forth from Holiday Inn is pretty neat.

Instead of any type of “card”, users can look forward to their very own smartphone-key. That’s right, your very own phone will soon open doors…

At face value, it doesn’t really seam too hard. Have some sort of encrypted key or file that’s stored on the phone and make use of Bluetooth to pair/transfer the unlock code to the door when you are within a few feet.

In reality, something kid of like that is going on. The way it will go down later this summer is that the hotel will be outfitted with a set number of “Open Way’s” equipped rooms. The person staying in that room would be responsible for downloading an Open Ways app from whatever app market their mobile platform relies on. You can see where this is going…

Once you’re ready to walk into your room, simply fire up the app and hold it near the door and tada — wireless, keyless entry.

The service will be tested through December at the Chicago O’Hare Rosemont Holiday Inn and the Holiday Inn Express of Houston Downtown Convention Center. It is at these two locations that customers will be able to really put to the test the necessity of the front desk.

In case you’re (A) worried about the tech or (B) simply want some human contact, fret not. This solution isn’t meant to replace standard room keys/front desk occurrences at all. Quite the opposite actually. Each Open Way room will cost hotels money for the technology involved. In that sense, it’s more of an option for us younger, “social” kids.

Either way, the thought of having one less thing to keep track of (or in my case, lose) is a huge benefit. I know that if I happen to travel through either one o those hotels over the coming months I’ll be sure to give it a shot. You do the same and let us know how it goes!

USA Today


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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!