The demonstration using the cellphone as a digital hotel room key didn't quite go as planned. The hotel manager held his phone up to the room's door lock and nothing happened. Realizing his Bluetooth was turned off, he tried again. Now the door's sensor flashed green, while the phone screen informed him that the door was unlocked.

Like the majority of travelers, I had never before used a mobile hotel key, even though the first version of the system was installed nearly a decade ago. Today, about 1 million hotel rooms worldwide are estimated to have some version of a

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