Cell phone as room key? An opinion

Cell phone as room key? An opinion

“Visitors to a Stockholm hotel will be able to use mobile phones instead of keys to unlock the doors to their rooms.”

This was among the first travel news I read today. Before continuing reading I took a moment to remember how did the keys to different hotels we stayed at looked like. And beside cards (few hotels) I remembered having keys with special objects attached, something specific to that hotel.

Thinking then about the cell phone as an instrument for door locking and opening I also thought immediately to potential dangers – software exploits, privacy and so on – so I had to ask myself whether this is a good idea or not. Thinking also to the fact – mentioned in the news too – that the technology involves special devices (to program the cell phones and to read them) I realized that thess costs will reflect in ticket prices.

I admit I don’t have a problem with leaving the key at the reception desk when I leave a hotel – or ask for it when I return. I’m sure that if I can open the door with my telephone, so can the maid and other hotel personnel if necessary – so it’s not a solution for keeping the room locked while the occupants are gone (and in fact we all like to have our rooms cleaned, right?).

I also wonder about the cell phone you should have in order to be able to use the software. If you don’t own a special new technology telephone will everything be ok? Would there be problems?

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Is the software so easy to use by anyone in the world?

So many questions regarding a single idea. What do you think?


I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

18 thoughts on “Cell phone as room key? An opinion

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  • 4 November, 2010 at 22:41

    It uses the Bluetooth functionality of the mobile phone and does not necessarily requires to install any software on the phone. The pairing process between 2 Bluetooth devices (the phone and the door) may be just enough to create a secure link that allows to open the door remotely using the mobile phone.

    The concept has been implemented for a couple of years (see http://www.eckey.com/).

    Me and some students from Politehnica University of Bucharest are working on a similar device (visit http://swentry.inovante.com/). If you need to know more about the project or the concept please feel free to ask us any questions.

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