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InterContinental Hotels Group is piloting technology that
allows travelers to use a mobile phone as a room key, the company announced on
IHG earlier this month began testing the technology, called
MobileKey, at two of its properties: the Holiday Inn & Suites Chicago O'Hare
Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown. The properties are
inviting travelers via e-mail to participate and receive a secure link on their
mobile device to an encrypted tone that can open their room's door upon
arrival, bypassing the front desk when checking in.
"More and more of our guests, especially Gen Y and
business travelers, are looking for simpler, more efficient ways to check in
and get to their rooms," IHG senior vice president of revenue and guest
technology Bryson Koehler said in a statement. "Due to the proliferation
of mobile devices, a MobileKey could be a great option."
Mobile technology developer OpenWays designed the
technology, which IHG called an industry first. The technology is compatible
with all smartphones and other cell phones with text and Internet capabilities,
according to OpenWays.