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IHG's New Smartphone Check-In Eliminates the Need for a Keycard

May 24, 2010 at 3:17 PM | by | Comments (4)

Way back in 2006, before the advent of the iPhone, the Droid and whatever the latest model of the Blackberry is, Marriott Hotels announced they would be testing a smartphone check-in in which guests could not-so-simply check into a Marriott hotel provided they had the right type of smartphone and had already downloaded the Marriott hotel's software.

Well, in the year 2010, Intercontinental Hotel Group is now testing a smartphone check-in that will allow you to actually open your hotel room, thus eliminating the need for a keycard completely.

According to USA Today, IHG will test the high-tech check-in next month at two Holiday Inns--one in Chicago and one in Houston. You will still have to download the technology's software from Open Ways and will also have to register to be one of the testers. But once you have that down, the next time you check into your hotel simply hold your smartphone up to a sensor on the door and voila! You're in the room.

Now, IHG's program will be in testing for about two months but it could be longer, an IHG exec told USA Today. And we think it will be even longer than that before this is an industry standard.

For one, the technology could be buggy at times. No one likes that, especially not after a long flight or an exhausting day of meetings. Second, technology still mistakes like the check-in kiosk at Aloft O'Hare that gave us a handicap room on the first try. Lastly, the amount of rooms in hotels with these special keyless doors will probably only a handful, as the hotel's owners will have to make the investment, not the brands running them.

Still, we're all about making our lives easier. We can't wait for the day when we can start paying for stuff like groceries and coffee just by flashing our iPhone so we'd gladly use our phone to open our hotel room. That is, unless we lose the phone during our hotel stay. Then what happens? Can't just go to the front desk to get a new phone, can we?

What do you think of IHG and Open Ways Smartphone Check-in? Would you use it or do you still prefer a human being? Let us know!

Comments (4)

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Awesome.

This is awesome, no more need for those stupid keys that I always lose. Take out the phone and I am in. <a href="http://www.my-houstonchiropractor.com">Houston chiropractor</a>

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Success Story

As I was reading this article, I realized it sounded oddly familiar. Then when they listed the 2 test sites, I realized I was on a business trip at Holiday Inn Rosemont - O'Hare when they were testing this device in the Chicago market. The finished test product was a little different from the description here, but it absolutely makes keycards obsolete.

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