We all knew opening one's hotel room door with a smartphone was just the beginning, didn't we? As the years have turned (and LodgeNet has inexplicably remained), a smattering of companies have seen the opportunity to connect savvy hotel guests to the properties they frequent. Y!kes is the latest to tune in, and its solution undoubtedly has the potential to change the way smartphone users interact with lodging venues. Designed as a hardware + software platform, the proximity-aware access system offers hotels the ability to tightly and specifically grant or deny access to one's phone. As an example, a hotel and guest both utilizing the system could see an elevator automatically choose one's floor upon entry, a door automatically unlock when a patron walks within range, a parking deck automatically have its gate raised, and a VIP lounge door automatically open if the credentials are programmed in.
Going a step further, one could envision this system having the ability to alert a hotel when a guest lands at the nearest airport, thereby triggering a series of events that places fresh Perrier bottles on the desk, blue mood lighting in the bathroom, a thermostat adjustment to 74 degrees and whatever else that person has specified in their profile. Insane? Sure, but not at all outside of the realm of feasibility. Once a venue has installed the system, guests need only have the associated app -- available for Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone and iOS -- running in the background on their device. If all goes as planned, he or she won't even have to drop by the check-in counter, and when the stay is over, they'll be able to bypass the check-out line as well.
If you're curious about app availability, we're told that the iOS build will hit the App Store "this week," while the other three platforms will see launches "within 30 days." We asked the company if it was ready to announce any partnerships with hotel chains, and received the following reply: "As for integration, Y!kes is currently engaged in deep discussions with the top hotel chains and will have information pertaining to specific contracts in the near future." Needless to say, the jetsetters in the crowd will be keeping an ear to the ground for more.