Hotel chain to use smartphones as room keys

According to Pocket Lint, your mobile phone will soon be doubling up as a room key and mobile check-in.

Global hotel chain InterContinental, owner of the Holiday Inn hotels, is undertaking a trial at two of those establishments in the US, with a mobile app offered to unlock doors rather than than the usual key card. Sounds simple? Well, it might be more hassle that it's worth.

The company will use a dedicated website where you'll have to register, then you'll need to download the Open Ways app in advance of your hotel stay. If that's not too much trouble, the hotel will send the confirmation email to your phone, which will act as a 'sensor', unlocking the door. Which means you avoid the check-in/check-out queue as well as that uncomfortable chat about dining arrangements and morning papers.

Speaking about it, InterContinental chief, Bryson Koehler said: 'The holy grail item for us is to simplify the room-key hand-off moment at the hotel. The proliferation of smartphones is growing in such a way that we have to look at what people are already bringing with them to make their stay more enjoyable. We don't need to burden people with additional items, it just clutters up their lives. The beauty of the smart phone is that they've already got it'.

The trials runs for around three months at Chicago's O' Hare Rosemont Holiday Inn and the Holiday Inn Express in Houston. Rest of the world? We suspect it's just around the corner.

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