Check-In Without Having to Check-In! The Future of Room Keys
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Having just returned from our exciting trip to London & Italy, with a grand total of 7 different hotel stays under our belt, I have to say I read the headlines today from the “Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference” taking place in Baltimore, Washington this week about the “Future of the Hotel Guest Room” with great fascination. It appears that the concept of the “Mobile Key” is on the horizon, and for me it can’t come soon enough!
Each of the rooms we stayed in seemed to have a slightly different technology, with each having their own frustrations. Only two of the rooms used the old-fashioned metal keys, which I have never been terribly keen about. It is very hard to tuck a heavy metal key into your bikini while trying to snorkel over a coral reef. The others used various combinations of swiping cards, tapping cards and inserting cards, all of which seemed to “lose” their programming at some point one or two days (or sometimes only hours) after being given to us, resulting in trips up and down to reception to have them reprogrammed.
The Hotel Room of the Future is promising us a door lock which will use a wireless technology called Near Field Communication (NFC), which allows two devices to interact with each other over just a few inches or so. Check into your hotel room online, and Voila! Your room will be assigned to you, and a code to unlock the door to that room will be sent to your Smartphone or Tablet. Once you arrive at your hotel, simply hold your device up close the door and Presto, you’re in! Though near Field Communication Chips are not prevalent in Smartphones or Tablets yet, the “Atmosphere Research Group” of Travel Industry Analysts can pretty much guarantee that this technology will be the norm rather than the exception in the near future. One of the biggest advantages to this will be the ability to forego the whole, drawn-out Check-in process altogether. Imagine checking in while you are en-route to your hotel, getting the Key Code on your phone, and being able to walk right past the line-ups and go straight to your pre-assigned rooms! Brilliant!
Considering how reliant we have all become on our Smart Phones & Tablets in our daily lives, it is no surprise that they are going to become a key part of our travel experience as well.
Tell Us What You Think? Do You Welcome the Future of Near Field Technology and “The Mobile Key”?