Smartphones Begin to Replace Hotel Keycards

The smartphone is always taking on new roles – from credit cards to MP3 players and digital cameras to airline boarding passes. Now, your smartphone will begin opening new doors for you, quite literally.

Two Holiday Inn hotels have begun using iPhone, Android and Blackberry smartphones as room keys, meaning guests don’t even need to stop at the front desk on their way in the door.

With the new system, which will be in testing through December, hotel guests can reserve their accommodations online. A text message is sent to their phone on the day they reserved with a room number and a link to unlock the door. No more friendly banter with the front-desk clerk when you’re late for a meeting, just get in and go – it sounds great.

The program began earlier this month at Holiday Inns in Chicago and Houston. According to USA Today, hotel patrons can sign up for the pilot program by making online reservations and enrolling through an email that receive prior to the check-in date. It is also careful to mention that smartphones “will always be an option for guests rather than a replacement for all keycards”

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