OpenWays turns your mobile phone into a hotel room key

The future of the hotel room key is slowly evolving – RFID (radio frequency identification) cards are making their way to some properties, but the real future of the hotel room door may involve your mobile phone. French company OpenWays has developed a technology that unlocks your hotel room door using “crypto acoustics”.

The system can be added to almost any existing electronic hotel lock, and by combining their lock with a software application on your phone, you’ll be able to bypass the front desk, and unlock your door with your phone. According to OpenWays, the application generates a unique sound pattern each time you use it, which also means people can’t record the tones and use them to gain access to your room.

OpenWays has gone beyond “vaporware”, and is actually ready for a real trial at two InterContinental properties (the Holiday Inn Rosemont and the Holiday Inn Express Houston Downtown Convention Center). The mobile unlock application will be available for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

Of course, with new technology comes new ways things can go wrong – and arriving at your hotel with a dead phone battery is one new way you’ll be forced to check-in the old fashioned way. Time will tell whether this system really is the future of hotel access, or whether easier will still be better.