Monday, May 31, 2010

Holiday Inn Tests Smarphones as Room Keys

PC World

The Holiday Inn is set to start trialing the use of smartphones as room keys.The chain will test the entry system at two hotels to begin with, and roll out the convenient tech on a wider basis if the trial proves successful.

Bryson Koehler from the InterContinental Hotels group explained to USA Today that "the beauty of the smartphone" is that guests already have one, and using it for access avoids "burdening people with additional items".

Starting next month guests at the Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare Rosemont and Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center will be able to trial the new entry system. Instead of having to deal with key-cards, which are often easily lost, customers will be able to use a downloadable iPhone, Android or Blackberry app. The software allows guests to access rooms simply by holding their device next to a door sensor.

The trial is slated to last for two to three months, and may also make use of location services such as Gowalla in an effort to remind guests of hotel offers.