Hotel lets travellers unlock rooms with a smartphone


Guests at two Holiday Inn hotels over in the US will be able to use smartphones to unlock their rooms as part of a trial.

The facilities will be using Open Ways technology which will work with most smartphones including the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices, USA Today has reported.

Bryson Koehler, an executive at InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which runs the Holiday Inn chain, told the paper that his company is trying to make the check-in process simpler.

Before the launch of the trials, IHG will finish creating a website where guests will be able to register after downloading an Open Ways app. When they hold up the confirmation email to a sensor on their door, it will then unlock ideal for those averse to form filling and small talk with hotel staff.

"The proliferation of smartphones is growing in such a way that we have to look at what people are already bringing with them to make their stay more enjoyable. We don't need to burden people with additional items; it just clutters up their lives. The beauty of the smart phone is that they've already got it," Koehler said.

The tests till run for a minimum of 60 days and the tech may become a permanent feature if feedback from guests suggests all is well.

At the time of publication, IHG had not responded to IT PRO's request for more information and whether or not the technology would be implemented in UK hotels.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.