The prototype was demonstrated at a customer conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Hotels.com’s president Johan Svanstrom says “quite a few hotel chains” have expressed interested in trialing the technology. He anticipates real world uses launching by March 2017.
The first target market will be Europe. Hotels.com is partnering with SALTO Systems, a third-party vendor based in Sweden whose software layer interacts with its hardware installations at more than 6,000 hotels.
Hotels have been anticipating smartphone-powered electronic key technology since 2010. But the concept became serious when Hilton Worldwide began two years ago to enable guests at several of its hotel brands to pick their room after they check in via an app. A handful of other chains, large and small, have followed suit to varying degrees.
NB: Image via Salto