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Seoul Hotel's Smartphone Room Keys Do More Than Unlock Your Door

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 9 Road Myeongdong, Seoul, Korea
January 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM | by | ()

From Brussel's stylish The Hotel to a Holiday Inn Express in Oklahoma, hotels are jumping on the hot "smartphone as room key" bandwagon. We don't blame them--we're sick of those flimsy little pieces of plastic.

Now, Seoul's Hotel Skypark Central is one-upping everyone.

Along with revolutionary accoutrements for the business traveler like, um, free airport shuttle service, the otherwise rather unremarkable downtown hotel has recently offered a new perk: bestowing free loaner smartphones to its guests upon check-in. The devices do just about everything, aside from calling home (actual phone services aren't available; unless you use Skype, of course), such as unlocking and locking your door, ordering room service, turning on the lights, channel surfing on your flatscreen, and browsing the web.

Sure, the whole "iPad as control panel" is becoming trendy too, with hotels like Miami Beach's The Marlin allowing guests to do some of the same things via tablets planted in its guestrooms. But you still can't use iPads to unlock your door from the outside…yet (just sayin').

The coolest part? You don't even have to be physically present in the room to control its settings. Which comes in handy if you, say, forget to turn off the lights before heading out for dinner, or want to turn the heat up so it's as warm & toasty as you like it when you get back on a cold night.

LG CNS, the Seoul-based IT developer of the system, claims this is the first time this particular technology has been used in any hotel -- calling it "Smart Guestroom Service."

So far, the system has only been installed in 16 of the hotel's some 300+ rooms (all on the 15th floor). LG promises that guests will soon be able to download an app on their own phones that provides all the existing features, plus a few new ones: like making e-payments upon check-out.

Front desk agents, hold onto your jobs... the future is calling!

[Photo: LG CNS]

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