Stockholm hotel pilots mobile phone lock system

by Tiffany Millar on November 3, 2010

Guests at a hotel in Stockholm will be the first to pilot technology that allows users to use mobile phones to unlock hotel room doors in lieu of keycards.

Assa Abloy, the largest door locks manufacturer in the world, has engineered a new system that allows customers to use mobile handsets as door keys via a close-range radio chip. Visitors to the Clarion Hotel Stockholm will trial the new tech, which works similar to a contactless payment system.

Those that repeatedly visit the hotel will be the first to trial the scheme and will even be able to check in via mobile phone prior to arrival. This will allow the user to skip registration and simply activate their key through their phone.

Known as Near Field Communication (NFC), the short-range technology is expected to come standard in smart phones in the next few years. It could also be used for ticketing and credit card payments. Assa Abloy says that it will pilot the system for at least four months prior to opening it up to other commercial buildings, homes and hotels.

Greger Johansson, a Redeye telecommunications analyst, said that NFC is some of the hottest technology for the mobile handset market. However, he said few mobile makers have begun to incorporate the tech into their handsets, adding that it could take several years before the technology is widely used.

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