Samsung Galaxy S III transforming Holiday Inn experience for guests at London Olympics


Samsung is providing their vision of the “connected” hotel room for guests of London’s Stratford Holiday Inn during the summer’s Olympic festivities. They service is being provided to Holiday Inn VIPs, with 40 room equipped to allow guests to check in and out, unlock hotel room doors, and control the TV and air conditioning all from a Samsung Galaxy S3 handset. Control of these parameters comes via a Holiday Inn app for Android phones and utilizes the Galaxy S3’s built-in NFC capabilities.

Samsung says this is the first time such a hospitality solution has been implemented outside of Asia, and if response is positive look for Holiday Inn to rollout similar features at more hotels. Samsung is the official mobile communications partner of the Olympics, and is taking the opportunity to cash in on their status as much as possible. Look for more from Samsung as the games kick off this weekend.

[Samsung via Engadget]

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  1. Unless Samsung /Holiday Inn are providing guests with S3 handsets, there appears to be no reason to single out the S3, as any NFC-equipped Android phone (eg, Nexus S or Galaxy Nexus) would seemingly work as well.

    1. Marketing. That’s sorta kind of a reason.

    2. yeah but samsung is sponsoring the olympics, so they are paying for this advertisement, so that is all the reason to single out the S3 lol

    3. Sure, marketing is a great reason – but for Samsung, not Phandroid!

      1. Umm…if Samsung pays Phandroid to write an article about this. See what the featured review is right now?

        Droid-Life is all about Droid phones and mainly focuses on Verizon phones, yet has ads all over the site all the time from T-Mobile and AT&T.

    4. I do agree they should have enabled the app to other NFC enabled phones like the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. After all those 2 other phones are made by them.

  2. Frankly, it’s far simpler just to use a key card and adjust the temperature using the dial on the wall than to unlock your phone, find the app, wait for it to start and then click the relevant button all the while having to stand in close proximity to the door/TV/thermostat anyway.

    1. Except you could launch the app prior to walking up to the door to unlock it, and you could stay in your comfortable position on the bed with your babe rather than get up to change the temperature.

    2. Yeah, there is a point in which these devices bring in the “Wall-e” type control over our lives lol. Using it as a key card is a great idea though…

      Maybe if you could access everything via the internet it would be useful? For example: make sure you room is cold an hour before you return.

    3. “find the app, wait for it to start”

      Have you used a Galaxy S III? There is no waiting when opening apps. Unless you’re launching a large game file, it’s instant open. Also, how difficult do you think it would be to find the app? I’m pretty sure it will be right there for you on the home screen.

      This takes advantage of PBX, which means for things that do not require NFC, such as controlling the TV, thermostat, etc, you don’t need to be anywhere close to them. This is a convenience factor.

      On a side note, without using the app yourself, you can’t state that it’s not simpler to use the app, than the physical thermostat.

      If you’re not tech savvy, that’s fine. But if you are, this sounds like a very simple and convenient solution.

      1. I don’t have an SGS3 but I have a HTC One X which has similar performance and understand that for an app such as this, connection time is far more significant than loading time which in itself is longer than it takes for me to grab a card out of my pocket (which I would also have to do with the phone). I frequently stay in a Holiday Inn for work (often making use of the thermostat) and have a number of remote control TV apps all of which are far more clunky than using the provided infra red remote.

        1. Again, you could simply load the app prior to even getting to your door. Considering many people, myself included, keep their key somewhere in their wallet, taking out your phone is more convenient. And, again, rather than having to get up to go to the thermostat, you could simply stay where you are. Feeling a little chilly while laying in bed bundled under the covers? Use your phone right beside you rather than leave your warm spot.

          We get it, you obviously like the extra work involved in either scenario. For others, it may be more convenient, and I think everyone else here understands that this is simply a step towards making these types of things more common.

        2. Pretty sure NFC is NFC. No need to open the app. My wife and I have used it several times to beam articles to each other. There’s no opening an app. Just put the phones near each other and tap the screen.

          1. NFC is part of the Android framework, as is the ability to transfer links and contact details over the protocol but to do something more proprietary like this you need an app.

      2. I was going to say the exact same thing…

  3. Verrry cool feature!!!

  4. How is this done? Can I get one of those special door locks for my house? Where can I buy one?

  5. I was wondering this the other day. If hotels that used basically NFC room keys, where you just put the key up to the lock to get in, might offer a NFC option for phone. That or you could learn the NFC code from the key upon check in and put the NFC to good use.

    1. If you’re just putting the key up to the lock then it’s more likely to be RFID than NFC though there is a Swedish manufacturer that produces locks supporting both for exactly the purpose you describe.

  6. The Samsung Galaxy S III has gotten mixed reviews http://search4reviews.net/ but personally I am very happy with mine, each to their own9

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