The Clarion Hotel Stockholm has launched a four-month pilot project where guests can use their cellular phones to not only check in and out, but also as a substitute for room keys.
The technology behind cell phone entry is known as Near Field Communication (NFC), and allows for data to be exchanged wirelessly over short distances. It can also be used as an alternative for tickets during travel, or to transfer contact information electronically without the business cards.
For the Clarion trial, guests will be provided with a Samsung phone that has both the hardware and software to open the door by holding it up to the lock. The key portion of the phone is deactivated upon checkout.
ASSA ABLOY, the company that developed this technology for the Clarion, is using the pilot to gauge the potential of mobile keys at other hotels.
“Keys are going mobile,” said Daniel Berg, Vice President and General Manager ASSA ABLOY Mobile Keys. “Thanks to our secure delivery infrastructure and mobile applications it will be possible to securely open digital door locks using your mobile phone in hotels and commercial buildings as well as in your home.”
If mobile key technology is optioned at other hotels, it would potentially reduce the number of plastic key cards in use today. These cards are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, as well as identification, gift and credit cards.
One recycling option for these cards is Earthworks, which reprocesses the cards into 100 percent recycled PVC. Earthworks accepts these cards for recycling via mail. Earlier this year, Earth911 also held a Reuse Challenge that called on its own staff to come up with creative ways to recycle plastic products. One staffer suggested using PVC gift cards, room keys to create a pyramid-shaped Rolodex. Genius!