Hotel Online  Special Report



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‘Best NFC Service of 2008’ Awarded to VingCard (ASSA ABLOY AB)
by NFC Forum at Monaco Event
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Global security leader receives ‘First Place’ for its Signature RFID/NFC
solution at the European NFC Developers Summit in Monaco
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PARIS — MAY 13, 2008 — The NFC Forum has recently named Signature RFID/NFC by VingCard, “The Best NFC Service of the Year 2008.”  Signature RFID/NFC is a hospitality security system that allows hotel guests with Near Field Communication-enabled cell phones to securely receive over the air their encrypted room key in order to bypass the check-in/-out process and unlock their room doors via mobile device. VingCard Elsafe, a company of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality (the recognized world leader of hotel security technology), provides electronic-locking systems and in-room safe solutions to more than 35,000 hotels worldwide. 

Signature RFID/NFC was chosen from among 20 finalists and more than 50 entries from 21 countries. Achieving First Place in the Commercial Track Category, the award was presented to Pascal Metivier, President of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EMEA and Latin America, at the WIMA European NFC Developers Summit during the “Touching the Future: NFC Forum Global Competition Finals & Awards Ceremony” April 29 in Monaco. The competition was designed to promote the development and deployment of innovative and exemplary NFC services. 

An informational video showcasing the convenience of the check-in/check-out process using a guest’s NFC-compatible cell phone via Signature RFID/NFC, and how the system drives room sales to direct channels and ultimately improves margins and the hotel’s bottom line, is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUHOOUBJr6s.

“We are honored that Signature RFID/NFC has been recognized as ‘The Best’ NFC service in the global marketplace by such a prestigious group,” Metivier said. ”To be ranked No. 1 from among the esteemed companies that competed through this process validates our commitment to developing the most secure, flexible solutions based on advanced technologies. When a jury of experts from the NFC community and the academic arena say your solution is unsurpassed, there is no higher complement.”

The NFC Forum (www.nfc-forum.org) is a non-profit industry association developed to advance the use of NFC technology. Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices. NFC technology allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with the simplicity of a single touch. NFC technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. 

As part of a joint collaboration with NXP (founded by Philips), VODAFONE and THE HUMAN CHAIN, VingCard developed the application for the NFC enabled phone to receive the encrypted room key and work as an RFID carrier to operate with Signature RFID electronic locks.  

"We congratulate VingCard for prevailing against dozens of very competitive solutions submitted this year," said Gerhard Romen, vice chairman of the NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of NFC technology. "This award demonstrates how effective NFC technology can be in supporting solutions to real-world problems.”

Check this out 

To begin, a traveler must register as an NFC member on the participating hotel chain’s Website. Once complete, the traveler can book a room via the hotels’ reservation system, or via the hotel’s Web site. Upon booking, the system will verify that the user is registered as an NFC member. When confirmed, the system will then begin interfacing with the traveler’s NFC cell phone.

Next, a traveler’s NFC cell phone will receive a Short Message System (SMS) text with the hotel room information, an encrypted room key, and the hotel’s GPS coordinates prior to arrival. Upon arrival, the guest will avoid the check-in queue, go directly to the assigned guestroom, and use the cell phone to open the door. For the duration of the stay, the guest’s NFC cell phone becomes the room key. Check out can be accomplished either through the NFC-enabled TV in the guestroom or through the reception NFC enabled kiosk.

“Hotels looking for tools to better connect with mobile-centric guests need to invest in mobile applications,” Metivier said. “As more applications are adopted, more guests will begin using the service. This means driving more direct sales to the property, rather than relying on third-party operators or agencies to fill their rooms, and reducing commissions paid to third parties. In the end, profit margins are improved and the bottom lines are boosted by driving room sales to direct channels.”

Finally, Signature RFID/NFC can greatly enhance the hotel’s loyalty program, as the guest’s mobile device becomes a virtual hotel loyalty card that is permanently updated with points and program information, he said. This is a great way to increase, strengthen and solidify the relationship between the brand and its loyal customers. "This cell-phone based solution from VingCard also has ‘green’ appeal,” Metivier said. “It’s the ultimate ecological way to handle hotels keys, since no plastic card is needed for both room key and loyalty card. This is highly appreciated by our customers who are committed to a sustainable development policy."

Pilot programs for Signature RFID/NFC are underway at leading brands.

For more information on the NFC Competition, visit www.nfc-competition.com. For more information on Signature RFID/NFC or other VingCard Elsafe solutions, visit www.vingcard.com.
 

About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum, www.nfc-forum.org, was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s 150+ global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability.

The NFC Forum’s Sponsor members, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: HP, MasterCard International, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Panasonic, Renesas Technology, Samsung, Sony Corporation, and Visa International.

About NXP: 
NXP is a top 10 semiconductor company founded by Philips more than 50 years ago. Headquartered in Europe, the company has 37,000 employees working in 20 countries across the world. NXP creates semiconductors, system solutions and software that deliver better sensory experiences in mobile phones, personal media players, TVs, set-top boxes, identification applications, cars and a wide range of other electronic devices.  News from NXP is located at www.NXP.com 

About Near Field Communication (NFC)
NFC technology evolved from a combination of contact-less identification (RFID) and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a distance of typically a few centimeters. NFC technology is standardized in ISO 18092, ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356) and ETSI TS 102 190. NFC is compatible with Sony's FeliCa™ card and the broadly established contact-less smart card infrastructure based on ISO 14443 A, which is used in Philips' MIFARE® technology. www.nfc-forum.org

About VingCard Elsafe
The world leader in hotel security technology, ASSA ABLOY Hospitality has products installed in more than 35,000 properties worldwide, securing in excess of 6 million hotel rooms. The ASSA ABLOY Group, a publicly listed company, is a world leader in security and hospitality systems. VingCard provides numerous electronic locking system solutions, including traditional magnetic-strip, smartcard systems and the latest RFID electronic locks compatible with the main ISO standards: ISO 14.443A (MIFARE), ISO 14.443B, ISO15.693 and NFC-compatible (Near Field Communication),  fully integrated PMS interface software solutions and worldwide service and support. Elsafe provides the only UL-listed (1037) hotel safe series on the market today in keypad and card-based models. Safes that include an internal power outlet to support recharging of laptops and camcorders also are available with a UL listing. Elsafe customers also enjoy the same worldwide service and support. The ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Group is dedicated to the hospitality industry. For more information on VingCard Elsafe, visit www.vingcard.com or www.elsafe.com.
 

Europe / Middle East / Africa:
E-mail: emea@vcegroup.com
Phone: +47 69 24 50 00
ASIA / Pacific:
E-mail: aspac@vcegroup.com
Phone: +65 6305 7670
North America:
E-mail: noram@vcegroup.com
Phone: +1 972 907 2273
Latin America:
E-mail: lam@vcegroup.com
Phone: +52 55 36 40 12 14

 

 
Contact:

Ms. Renate Henriksen
Marketing Coordinator
VingCard Elsafe
Tel:  +47 69 24 5012
rhenriksen@vcegroup.com
 

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Pascal Metivier Appointed President of Assa Abloy Hospitality for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America / June 2005
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When Security Counts . . . Count On VingCard to Upgrade Your Electronic-Locking System / June 2005
Elsafe Selected by Accor as its Sole Approved Provider of In-Room Safes / April 2005
Elsafe Asks: Are Your In-Room Safes REALLY Safe? / November 2004
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Elsafe Renews Global Agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Supply In-Room Safes / March 2003
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