News for the Hospitality Executive
The OpenWays Mobile Key solution is ALREADY WORKING with ALL 5 billion mobile phones worldwide and the major electronic locks, bridging the very wide gap between what guests want NOW and what may come via slow-moving and expensive-to-deploy technologies like NFC
Visit Booth 2551 at IH/M&RS November 13-16 in New York!
Chicago—November 9, 2010—While hotels around the world begin shifting their focus from plastic keycards to Mobile Keys as a way as a way of giving guests the option to bypass the front-desk, receive an exceptional personal stay experience and protect the environment, OpenWays continues to lead the industry with the only “in use” Mobile Key front-desk bypass solution capable of working TODAY with all 5 billion mobile devices on the market.
"OpenWays is responding TODAY to what travelers have been requesting for years: The opportunity to bypass the front desk and zip straight to their rooms upon arrival at the hotel," said Pascal Metivier, OpenWays Founder and CEO. "Self-service options are increasingly made available to travelers in the airline and car-rental industries, so guests are today expecting hotels to provide similar streamlined options including mobile phone based check-in services ."
Since 2006, the electronic chip-set companies that created NFC (Near Field Communications) technology have made deployment promises that keep being delayed because it's too complex, it's ecosystem is not stable, and it simply costs a fortune to deploy.
Most analyst consider that the core issue today is a weak business case stemming from two main NFC applications (Payment and Transportation) which consequently is preventing it from having any mass phone deployment. Numerous non-NFC mobile payment applications are now in use and are proven to be very efficient and secured. On the transportation side, the airlines and railways have adopted 2D and 3D Quick Response (QR) barre code solutions, and most decided not to wait any longer for a “maybe one day” NFC availability to further deploy mobile services. Contrary to what is often believed in North America, NFC phones are not yet commercially deployed in Europe. Only a few phone models are being used in a small number of pilots. In addition, the technical standards are still not completely finalized and stable after six years of work.
Without having widespread and immediate availability of a full range of NFC-enabled phones (therefore enough users), it's not economically viable to offer a relevant NFC application for hospitality and other industries. It's a real Catch-22 that has not yet found a viable outcome.
According to leading telecom analysts, the NFC ecosystem is seen as very complex, and it's in control of the phone carriers for now. Many think that the ecosystem can't survive as long as the phone carriers continue to dictate the economic model and want to charge significant fees. For others, more concerning is the lack of interoperability of the current NFC model. If a global hotel chain wishes to offer an NFC service to its guest, it will have to make deals with up to 1,500 carriers in the world, pay considerable fees, and always wonder if its guests are carrying the right phones. In addition a huge library of applets and middlets will have to be managed, making the NFC operating cost very high.
Paving the Road to NFC
"Instead of requiring travelers to 'maybe' obtain an NFC-compatible cell phone from the right carrier in the future, thereby causing hoteliers to delay offering self service options, OpenWays is paving the road to NFC by providing a solution TODAY that enables hotel guests to use any existing cell phones to efficiently bypass the front desk and to securely unlock their guestroom doors," Metivier said. "Equally important, the OpenWays solution is designed around an open multi-technology platform that will allow for migrations to other technologies with time while always being able to address 100% of a mobile guest population."
Market analysts agree. In a recent interview for MSNBC, Greger Johansson, a leading telecommunications analyst at research firm Redeye, said NFC is a hot technology in the mobile phone market, but few models have incorporated it so far, and it will take "several years" before it becomes widely used: "It's not just a matter of incorporating the technology into the phones," Johansson said. "You need someone who can read it too. There are quite a few players involved so it will take a while until it works well."
Highly Secured Open Architecture
With very proven technologies and an open platform approach, OpenWays is already working with the latest smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 4 and 3GS, the Google Android-based phones, Blackberry’s, Windows Mobile, Nokia Symbian etc., and further announcements for later-generation mobile devices (including the iPhone 5) will be made shortly.
Using now the principle of Crypto Acoustic Credential (CAC™) and text messaging (SMS), OpenWays delivers a unique encrypted tone or "credential" to the right user anywhere in the world. It is highly secured as each encrypted sound produced becomes obsolete from the moment it is used, making a fraudulent recording totally inefficient. If someone records the sound during a door opening and attempts to use the recorded sound to open the door, this sound will not be accepted by the lock or the access control reader.
"Not only does OpenWays work with every cell phone today, but we work with the major electronic-locking system vendors across the globe," Metivier said. "Any hotel can retrofit their existing locks -- whether they are magnetic-stripe, RFID or smartcard -- to support CAC™. It requires simply adding an OpenWays decoding listen device to the existing lock or access control reader."
Finally for optimum security the OpenWays platform operates within a trusted network.
Giving Guests True Freedom of 'Choice'
OpenWays is operational NOW and proving to be widely successful in several hotels. Hotel-wide pilots with InterContinental Hotels Group for its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands has been underway for several months in North America. Another major hotel chain is currently installing OpenWays in the United States. It is the same in Europe and in Scandinavia. Further OpenWays deployments with other global hotel chains are soon to be announced.
"Hoteliers are no longer taking a wait-and-see approach to Mobile Key deployment because today's guests demand it," Metivier said. "With travelers increasingly opting for self-service solutions as part of their travel experience, they expect the same for their hotel experience. Waiting in line to check in should not be part of the guest experience.
"Giving guests the freedom to choose how they prefer to check in not only provides true brand differentiation and a value-added guest service, but it can mean the difference between retaining a customer or losing one to the competition," he added. "This is especially important for brands trying to attract Gen Y travelers and retain business travelers who are drawn to self-service opportunities."
The OpenWays solution is cost efficient and comes with a fast return on investment; it uses a vehicle for room entry that travelers are very familiar with and are comfortable using; and it's green. Only OpenWays gives guests the ability to "check in their way," either using their mobile phone alone as a keycard or using their mobile in tandem with a plastic key card. Certainly there are no keycards greener than OpenWays, because the key is made up of only data.
Hoteliers ready to deploy a Mobile Key solution and who are attending IH/M&RS next week in New York are encouraged to pre-schedule an appointment with the OpenWays team for trying the solution with their own cell phone.
OpenWays is a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Seoul and Paris, OpenWays provides technology solutions allowing for the secure issuance and delivery of access rights and keys process via any cell phone operating on any network. The OpenWays solution is truly unique as it built on the concept of credential dematerialization. The OpenWays mobile room key solution works on ALL the 5 billion cell phones in service in the world today. For more information, please contact Pascal Metivier at ++ 33 6 85 622 306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Barb Worcester at +1 440 930 5770 or email email@example.com. www.openways.com.
Technology Veteran Andrew Sanders Joins OpenWays as VP Business
Development / November 2010
Platform Displayed at IHMRS Aiding in National Industry GREEN Efforts;
There are no key-cards greener than the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Data
Credential that allows hotel guests to check in to their rooms via
mobile phone / October 2010
IN YOUR WAY" OpenWays Launches New Campaign to Aid Hotels' Mobile
Marketing Initiatives / October 2010
Mobile Application is Live at a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express
Hotel; The world's first mobile front desk bypass solution is up and
running at two IHG properties / September 2010
Agueda Joins OpenWays as VP of R&D; Twenty-five year hospitality
and security systems veteran instrumental in designing the most
installed and successful electronic-locking systems in North America
joins OpenWays to lead R&D efforts; Maurizio Zama promoted to Chief
Operating Officer / September 2010
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|OpenWays Selected by Microsoft® to Join Its BizSpark™ Start-Up Program; Developer of the world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any mobile phone to receive full Microsoft marketing support, tools, licensing, and global visibility / April 2010|
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