How many times have you flown across the country, then rushed from the airport to your hotel only to find a long line and lengthy wait just to check in? (Seems to happen to me almost every time I go to Las Vegas…)
Two Holiday Inn hotels are now testing technology from a company called Openways that allows guests to bypass the front desk entirely, proceed straight to their rooms, and unlock the door using their cell phones. That’s pretty cool.
Here’s how it works: You make a hotel reservation by phone or online and provide your cell phone number. On the day you are scheduled to arrive, the hotel sends a message to your phone, including your room number. When you arrive at the hotel, you go directly to the door of your room and call a special toll free number. When it answers, it recognizes and validates your phone number, and responds with a tone. When you hear the tone, you place your phone over the door lock, and voila! Open sesame! It opens. (See video above, or go to IHG’s Innovation Center blog)
Beta tests started last month at two hotels, The Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O’Hare Rosemont and The Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center. Based on the results of these tests, the service could roll out among other hotel brands under the IHG umbrella, which include InterContinental, Indigo and Crowne Plaza hotels, among others.
So what do you think? Would you be comfortable using a cell phone as a room key? Please leave your comments below.
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