IPhone Opens Hotel Doors

3rd Mar 2010
IPhone Opens Hotel Doors

Hotel News Resource OpenWays Presents its iPhone Application to Bypass Front Desks and Open Room Locks

OpenWays, the global provider of mobile-based access-management solutions for the security and hospitality industries, announces an application for smartphones (embedded or mobile web-based) that allows travelers to check-in remotely, bypass the front desk and open the door to their room by simply pressing a “key” icon on their mobile device. Those traveling with an iPhone, BlackBerry, NOKIA, Android-based or other Windows-based mobile cell phone can securely obtain an encrypted room key in “full data mode”—as long as they are staying at a hotel that enables the OpenWays mobile key service.

The OpenWays solution was introduced in November as a way to enable any of the 4 billion cell phones in the world to receive a dematerialized key via an encrypted acoustic tone to bypass the front desk and access door locks. This ubiquitous solution uses the principle of Crypto Acoustic Credential (CAC) and text messaging (SMS) to very securely deliver a key to the right user anywhere in the world. The solution is compatible with the major electronic-locking systems and access-control systems. The acoustic key produced is unique, and thanks to OpenWays patents-pending solutions, a fraudulent recording of the key will be made inefficient to open a door.

“This smartphone application is designed to leverage the power of mobile device technology and provide enhanced convenience to hotel guests,” said Pascal Metivier, OpenWays Founder and CEO. “It can operate either as a standalone application or embedded within other cell-phone-based travel and hotel applications provided by the various hotel chains.”

He said providers of property-management and central-reservation systems also are embedding the OpenWays solution within their own apps. MICROS-Fidelio, for example, has incorporated the OpenWays application into MICROS OPERA’s property-management system and MyStayManager. According to Jos Schaap, MICROS VP of Research & Development, the app will be showcased next month at the ITB Berlin Convention, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show, to be held March 10-14 on the fairgrounds of Messe Berlin.


“By operating the OpenWays smartphone application in full data mode, hotel staff can also take full advantage of mobile technologies,” Metivier said. “Using an iPhone or iPod Touch combined with the OpenWays on-line master key feature gives staff members peace of mind if a master keycard gets lost or compromised. In that situation, the OpenWays application allows management to neutralize the lost credential in real time without having to walk to any single lock.

In addition, the on-line key management of the OpenWays solutions enables staff to remotely extend a guest stay or change a guest from room to room without having to go back to the front desk.

Mobile Tool Kit for Integrating Partners As part of its offering, OpenWays provides a powerful Mobile Tool Kit for its integrating partners, such as the leading electronic-locking system vendors and specialized channel providers, such as PMS, CRS and Kiosk companies.

“Mobile web-based applications are often a challenge,” Metivier said. “What you see and what you get can vary quite a bit depending on the cell phone used. With more than 10,000 different models of cell phones operating worldwide, it is really difficult for developers to keep up with application standards. The OpenWays Mobile Tool Kit provides an automatic hardware detection feature that allows for our rendering platform to automatically adapt the content to the piece of mobile hardware used by the guest making it clear, readable and easy to use.”

OpenWays is a solution provider focused on securely delivering access credential to all mobile phone in a fully interoperable way, he added.

A Green, Cost-Efficient, ROI-Rich Solution “The OpenWays multi-technology platform has one goal: To empower hoteliers to offer a mobile-key service to 100% of their guests who are traveling with a smartphone or any other mobile device,” Metivier said. Near Field Communication handsets (NFC) are not expected to be in commercial release prior to 2014, and distributing plastic RFID-based loyalty cards to program members is clearly cost prohibitive, difficult to deploy and capital intensive on the door lock investment side. Therefore, the OpenWays multi technology offering continues to be the best approach to paving the road to NFC and to cost efficient / ROI rich front desk bypass solutions.”



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