A UK SME, based in London, has developed a smartphone self-check-in/digital keys system with reputable lock manufacturer partners. The SME is looking for hotels to trial the product offering. Several major hotels have already begun installing digital key systems that can be unlocked directly from a guest's mobile phone. The partner will benefit this streamlined process which appeals to increasingly tech-savvy travelers, and creates loyalties.
The UK SME is a mobile applications and security services company founded on the concept of bringing today’s wireless, mobile and internet technologies to the access control market. By uniquely combining existing technologies, it has developed and patented a 'keyfree and carefree' entry system that can be easily integrated into any access control system, and/or computer reservation/booking system to replace metal keys, keycards, and keyfobs. The digital keys system combines a One Time Password (OTP) core algorithm with Bluetooth Low Energy and Near Field Communication (NFC), and interfaces to travel software, leveling the digital tourism field so that smaller accommodation facilities can take advantage of digital keys smart-locks systems, and smart phone self check-in. The system uses cloud based algorithms to generate billions of pre-programmed codes for use as time sensitive keys at any future date and time combination. The keys can be downloaded, and sent to and used by guests, providing an ideal flexible solution for hotels, motels, resorts. The product is designed to interface with Channel Managers, Hotel Property Management Systems (PMS) and all data is managed, monitored and controlled by this System. The systems can be set up for complete or partial automation, so that guests can self check-in on their smartphone without the need for any staff interaction - great for after hours check-ins! The SME is looking for a service agreement with hotels to trial the product offering. The partner will benefit this streamlined process which appeals to increasingly tech-savvy travelers, and creates loyalties.
Innovations and advantages
The company's product takes all the keycard systems features and add three extra layers: 1. The digital-keys can be distributed remotely (by anyone with rights to grant access). Guests can use their own smartphone as the key (and/or they can receive a time-sensitive PIN), which can be downloaded through a smartphone app, or be emailed/texted the digital key, and they don't need to physically meet with anyone for a physical key handover. 2. The digital-keys can be distributed remotely and automatically by software without the need for human interaction (with interfaces to Online Travel Agencies via Channel Managers and Property Management Systems software) 3. The smart-locks don't require any other onsite supporting infrastructure. All these features not only means greater security, but also cost savings, convenience, and more efficient property management.
Current stage of development
The London based company is currently a beneficiary of the European grant SME Instrument - phase 1. The current product aligns with a Technology Readiness Level 7 since the online check-in application and smart-locks have been tested in a short- term rental property. The Software Development Kit (SDK) and Application Programming Interface (API) are currently in the final stages of development. The compilation of the complete smartphone check-in with the coding and algorithms of the locks is being undertaken to provide a complete package for the lock manufacturer. The app is currently available in the play store for Android and will be developed for IOS. The application now has to be improved to support greater performance and capabilities, tested, and used by a larger user base. The company is currently implementing the feasibility assessment for the SME Instrument phase 1 project.
01002013 Smart cards and access systems
01004002 Applications for Tourism
01004009 CRM - Customer relationship Management
Market application codes
01004008 Other data communications
07005003 Hotels and resorts
07005005 Travel agencies and services
Intellectual property rights
Patent(s) applied for but not yet granted
Comments, number and date of patent
The company currently has published patent applications in USA, Europe, China and Australia and has two additional patents pending covering the use of smartphone apps to download time-sensitive PINs; the use of API’s/interfaces to Property Management Software systems to enable a complete smartphone self check-in; and complete (semi-complete) automations for hotel staff. The latest International Search Report outlines all claims assessed as ‘novel’, ‘inventive’ and ‘industrially applicable’.
Area of partner's activity
Hotels, resorts, accommodation establishments of any size to trial the product offering. The SME is looking for hotels who want to appeal to the tech savvy traveler, create loyalties, reduce overheads, and increase occupancy rates. A digital keys smart lock system can help hotels and resorts in the following ways: 1. pushing relevant content/upsell tours/product to the partner's guests anytime through the digital keys/check-in app. 2. Saving money by never having to pay for a locksmith to come out and change a lock ever again if a guest loses a metal key. 3. Saving money by not having to pay a 'after hours/night check-in service/RE Agent' to manage properties 4. Accepting last minute bookings and walk-in's/drive-in's after hours with no staff on site. 5. Capturing and retaining guests' data to build loyalty 6. Saying goodbye to demagnetizing key-cards and guest bad will 7. Differentiation – be tech savvy attract tech savvy 8. Interface to other concierge like services, room controls for energy efficiencies, mobile wallets, smartband, ticketing etc 9. Easier pre-sell in bulk to hotel wholesalers with interfaces and automations 10. Pay less commissions to OTA's and create loyalties, whilst at the same time it can increase bookings at the OTA by offering a key differentiation 11. Key Management becomes a breeze 12. Avoid negative Trip Advisor reviews