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HotelTonight Wants to Check You Into Your Hotel and Open The Room Door

June 26, 2014 at 9:13 AM | by | Comments (2)

HotelTonight, the mobile booking app last-minute travelers can't live without, announced some major news yesterday at Google's I/O conference. Like, major.

HotelTonight will soon let you check-in to your room from within the HotelTonight app as well as open your room door. Wow. Earlier this year, when we mentioned bonus points for hotels who adopted keyless entries, we had no idea it would come from a booking app like HotelTonight.

The two new features are simply called, "Express Check-In" and "Keyless Entry." They were demonstrated yesterday at the conference on an Android phone but the Express Check-In is being piloted on the iPhone app while Keyless Entry is working off Android.

Now, the Express Check-In seems like it will do pretty well because it's pretty simple. Tap two times on your app and voila! You're checked in and can go straight to the front desk to receive your room key.

The Keyless Entry thing seems like it could be harder to get off the ground. That's because this requires hotels to have the special NFC room door technology on their doors. And that costs money. Lots of money. Tnooz reports it costing about anywhere from "$150-240 per door unit."

Yet HotelTonight and their partner, Brivo Labs, are supposedly already in talk with some major chains about keyless entry. We suspect that Aloft Hotels will be one of them since they started ramping up their own keyless entry for SPG Members.

Either way, it's safe to say the future is here, kids. Of course, we also thought that back in 2010. Let's hope HotelTonight can really make this come true.

Comments (2)

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Keyless Entey Will Take Some Time

Much like testing of medication before it gets approved for general population use, I suspect it will be quite sometime, before this concept becomes 'mainstream'.

Not only because of the above mentioned costs (which is a very large issue in itself, but like anything else, as more competition comes on board, it will get cheaper), but because of other associated costs. Such technilogy will require extremely up-to-date security systems, which many hotels simply do not have. In fact the introduction of this technology, could herald the second coming of Security Departments in hotels globally. It requires consistent and regular monitoring, updating, and this will mean additional staff - or staff that needs to be trained in such.
Wireless technology is so open to risks, and this technology for hotel use is very much in it's infancy, even with all the testing going on.
My guess is that it will require some sort of 'control', whereby guests can only download the 'key' within the premises, and the hotel has an override to be certain of expiry on checkout.


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