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Hotel swaps room keys for mobile phones

High-end devices including Nokia's C7 handset are equipped with the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology being trialled at Stockholm's Clarion Hotel. Photo / Supplied
High-end devices including Nokia's C7 handset are equipped with the NFC (Near Field Communication) technology being trialled at Stockholm's Clarion Hotel. Photo / Supplied

STOCKHOLM - Check-in and check-out and even opening the door to your room - a mobile phone is the only key you need at a Stockholm hotel conducting a pilot project of new mobile applications, the participating companies said.

Starting this week, a number of guests at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm will be provided with telephones equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

The chosen clients will not only be able to reserve their rooms and receive confirmation on the devices, they will have the option of checking in even before arriving at the hotel and have their electronic room key ready in the phone when they get there.

No need to stop by the reception. Guests can go straight to their room and place their phone in front of the lock and the door opens.

When they leave, they check out using their phone, and the electronic key is automatically cancelled.

"At TeliaSonera, we are looking at many ways of using the mobile phone to make our customers' lives easier," Johan Wickman, who heads up the Nordic telecom giant's research and innovation division, said in a statement.

"The NFC technology, along with other inbuild technologies, brings a new dimension to the mobile device which opens new growth opportunities," he added.

TeliaSonera, which partnered with among others the Clarion hotel and Swedish lock maker Assa Abloy on the project, said the pilot test began on November 1 and would last for four months.

Over time, the telecom company said it aimed for the technology to be deployed at other hotels as well as at commercial and residential buildings.

Assa Abloy meanwhile said the project was a world first and the goal was "to get feedback from guests and employees using the NFC phones for a variety of services."

NFC is a short-range wireless communication technology standard that enables the exchange of data between devices over up to a distance of 10 centimetres.

- AFP

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