The idea is based on RFID door lock technology that can be opened or closed using a remote control. This new door unlocking app essentially turns your phone into a key, and could be used to bypass the front desk of a hotel to completely avoid a check-in process.
Basically, it works like this: book your hotel room via Internet through your smartphone, and the hotel will send you a text message with your room number. When you arrive at the hotel , the text will play a one-time use beep that the door will understand as password and grant you access to the room.
For security purposes, every time you need to get into your room there will be a different beeping noise, so that no one can record the original beep and use it to gain access to your room. This is much like the current system of hotel keys, where the hotel can give you a new key at any time and the door will still be able to read it although it’s a different key.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) thinks this is a really great way of modernizing hotels, and saving money on printing out room number information, creating room keys, and having many employees manning the check-in desk. Plus, since all the beeps are different, it also adds more security for the people staying in the rooms. But to test just how great the system really is, IHG is planning on testing out this system in two of its Holiday Inn hotels.
Whether or not this system succeeds or flops all depends on IHG’s testing period and how well the customers like the new system. There is also always the risk of someone learning how to exploit the system, and even hackers creating tools that will bypass the locks. But it is far too early to tell just yet, so just be on the lookout for these locks next time you book your room.