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Holiday Inn to Test Smartphones as Room-Keys

If you're anything like me, the room-key goblins come and steal one or both of those little cards the second you arrive, planting them in weird places for you to find when you get home. Well, it looks like those once-a-day trips to the front desk could soon come to an end. If an experiment by the Holiday Inn spreads to other hotels, we may find ourselves living in a world where all you need to open your door is your mobile phone.

Two Holiday Inn locations will launch a 60-day trial that will see customers ditch the room keys and just use a smartphone application instead. Not only will the application remove the need to always know where that pesky room-key is, but it also enables you to check in without ever going near the front desk.

Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center will next month launch the trial that will utilize technology that, according to the Telegraph, is compatible with Android devices, BlackBerrys and iPhones. USA Today says the trial will last between 60 and 90 days but could last longer.

The technology is said to be quite expensive to implement so if it does get rolled out on a more widespread basis, it is said that only 20 percent of hotels will be equipped for smartphone check-ins.

Jane McEntegart is Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America, and previously worked for more than 7 years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor.

  • amnotanoobie
    Great, now if someone takes your phone, they could access your room as well. Though the ease of use might be a big driving factor for people to get it anyway.
  • sliem
    Lose your phone, also lose your room.
  • scione
    I don't know about you guys but it sounds awesome. I frequently lose my card but I always have my phone on me lol.
  • Azriel4444
    Rather have a bar code scanner. Front desk sends you the image and you forward it to anyone who needs a key. Probably cheaper to install and maintain. Works with any network. Also, anyone who gets a hold of your phone, probably could get your keycard too. They still have to figure out the room number in any case.
  • carlhenry
    lose your phone, put a password on your room. it's as simple as that. that way you won't lose your phone AND your room. GREAT and CONVENIENT.
  • twisted politiks
    it will be pretty easy to pick up the wireless signal your phone is transmitting, and copy it to go into the room.
  • Pyroflea
    sliemLose your phone, also lose your room.Great.
    Because if somebody finds a random cell phone they instantly know which room of which hotel you're staying in...?
  • efeat
  • totheshed
    sliemLose your phone, also lose your room.Great.
    How often do you stay at a hotel?
  • jitpublisher
    "If an experiment by the Holiday Inn spreads to other hotels, we may find ourselves living in a world where all you need to open your door is your mobile phone."
    All I ever needed to open my room door is a little 15 cent plastic card, certainly did not seem like that big of a deal to me.