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Holiday Inn to trial iPhone as revolutionary hotel room key

Some people might envisage it as part of the perfect hotel experience – travelling from reception to bed without even needing to stop and check-in.

Hotel group Holiday Inn is due to begin testing technology which will allow guests to use their iPhone as their room key.

The hotel chain, which is owned by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), says that, because many of its guests are already smartphone customers, they would enjoy the freedom of avoiding the front desk when they arrive.

Speaking to USA Today, IHG executive Bryson Koehler says: ‘The holy grail item for us is to simplify the room-key hand-off moment at the hotel.’

‘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.’

Holiday Inns in Houston and Chicago will run the trial for three months from July, before looking at feedback from guests on whether the initiative has been successful.
Guests who wish to participate in the scheme need to give the hotel their smartphone number and download an ‘Open Ways’ app. Before their arrival they will receive a text and a sound code which can be used to unlock their hotel room door.
However, some critics have questioned the security of the new system, saying that the new application could lead to thieves finding their way into guests’ hotel rooms.

Source: Daily mail