Have Smartphone, Skip Check-in at Holiday Inns

Holiday Inn

Holiday Inn is ready to begin testing new technology that will allow guests to use their smartphone as a room key.

A spokesman for parent InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), confirmed guests using the technology would be able to skip the front desk, and head right to their guestrooms.

"You would hold your cell phone up to the door lock and a code would unlock it," the spokesman explained.

According to USA Today, the program will be tested beginning next month at the Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center, and if successful would roll out to other properties but only to about 20% of each hotel's rooms.

The idea, Bryson Koehler, senior vice president of global revenue and guest technology for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), told USA Today, is customer convenience. He said the technology, developed by a company called Open Ways, will work on iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones.

Koehler did not commit to exactly how long the test period might last, but said it would be at least 60 to 90 days, during which they will seek customer feedback.

To use the technology, guests would register at a website and would need to download an application on their smartphone. They would then call up a confirmation code once they get to their guestroom door and hold it up to a sensor to unlock the room.

You can already use your smartphone to check in for some flights/display boarding passes.
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