Monday, September 27, 2010

Mobile Check-in With Smartphones

The smartphone hotel room key has started rolling out at two locations at the Holiday Inn Hotels in Chicago and the Houston Convention Centre.  It's called the MobileKey and customers can sign up when making online reservations.  This makes check-in a breeze.  In fact, you can just by pass the front desk which is a great time saver when the business traveler has had a long journey and a long day.

Upon enrolling online, you receive a link to download the application on your smarphone.  This is followed by a text message along with a room number.  Upon arriving at the hotel room, you would call up the confirmation code and hold up the smartphone to the sensor on the door lock and voila!  It's that simple and convenient and most business travelers already have a smartphone these days.

The Holiday Inn is part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group which is the biggest hotel chain in the world, in terms of number of rooms.  When this group standardizes on keyless entry, you can expect the rest of the industry to likely follow.  This application currently works on iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones.

The only downside - don't let your phone run out of juice and risk being locked out.  But there's always the good old fashioned hotel desk.


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