Posted in: Budgets and spending, cell phone, e-commerce, Gadgets, Green technology, mobile technology, smartphones, Software, Special Report, Travel and entertainment
One of the biggest hassles of travel has to be keeping track of those pesky hotel key cards and then trying to remember which way to fit the darned things in the wide variety of door locks. But that may soon change.
New technology’s been introduced and will soon be test marketed in Las Vegas hotels that allows guests to use their cell phones — any cell phone model at all — to unlock their hotel room door.
This new system doesn’t use the much-touted, but slow-to-develop Near-Field Communication (a technology that would let guests receive an encrypted message on their mobile devices, which then signals the locking system to unlock the door).
Instead, a French company called Openways has come up with a simple system in which a computer generates a unique series of tones (that sounds kind of like those digitized cell phone ringtones used early this decade) that is then sent to the mobile device.
When the tone is played outside the designated guestroom, a microphone incorporated in the locking system IDs the tone and unlocks the door.
The key advantages to this technology:
- It works with any of the 4 billion cell phone used worldwide
- The technology’s also compatible with any cell phone carrier
- Phones need no new software or hardware to operate the system (however, Openways is developing an iPhone app that would allow users to store the tone in advance, without needing network to recall it. This way, guests could check into their hotel online, get a key tone and go directly to their room, bypassing tedious check-in)
- The system uses highly secure encryption technology
- It integrates easily with all major lock technologies, and
- Organizations that want to “go green” will appreciate the absence of plastic.
The Openways key solution is just one of the new technologies that will soon be hitting hotels around the world. There’s plenty of software currently being designed that will allow hotel guests to manage their stays via mobile apps.
While these will make it easier for guests to do everything from checking in to ordering room service via a handheld device (one that the guest either owns or is loaned for their stay), they’ll also allow hotels to collect, store and analyze the most minute data on visitors.
Management will be able to assemble details on guest behavior and preferences, allowing them to more efficiently order supplies, schedule staff, customize stays and up-sell their guests specialized services.
To read more about the technology developments that are hitting the hotel industry, click here.
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