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'Open Ways' App Lets Holiday Inn Guests Use Phones as Room Keys

Holiday Inn
Rather than cluttering wallets with key cards, hotels will soon adopt a new technology that allows guests to use their smartphones to unlock rooms. According to USA Today, InterContinental Hotels Group will begin testing this phone-as-room-key technology this June at the Chicago O' Hare Rosemont and at the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center.

Though Koehler is considering RFID options, the Open Ways mobile app is being tested in this initial push. When reserving a room, guests will check an option online to participate in the trial, which will last 60 to 90 days, and maybe longer. Next, the guest will download an iPhone, BlackBerry or Android application. This app plays an audio confirmation, which a sensor built into the door's lock detects, prompting it to unlock. "We don't need to burden people with additional items; it just clutters up their lives. The beauty of the smartphone is that they've already got it," IHG executive Bryan Koehler told USA Today.

Of course, you'll still find yourself hiking down those eerily quiet hallways to the front desk if your phone is dead, and the system may be vulnerable to hackers. If those bugs can be prevented and hurdles can be cleared, we'd gladly move away from using those wasteful plastic keys. [From: USA Today]

Tags: android, BlackBerry, cellphone, hotel, iphone, keyless, openways, smartphone, top, travel

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