There is a new fashion in hotels. Your key card turns on the power in your hotel room. Courtney Wachob, on Flickr, described it here:
In order to have electricity in the room, we had to put our key card in this thing . . . and, since we only had one key, we couldn’t cool the room off OR charge camera batteries, etc while we were out. Very annoying.
Although his photos are no long available on Flicker, Steve Portigal took a trip to Wan Tsai in Hong Kong. All four hotel rooms on his trip had these contraptions that controlled the power in his hotel room with his keycard. When he left his room (with his key in his pocket) the power was off, so he couldn’t charge his camera battery or iPod.
He explained it:
“The device on the right was on the wall near the door of our hotel room. It accepted a card key and turned on the power. No card key, no power in the room. If you didn’t have two card keys, that meant you couldn’t have the power on in your room when you were out, in other words, if you wanted to be charging up a device, you couldn’t.”
Other people commented on his photo:
xeeliz: The card key for power is fairly standard. When I once used two keys this way – to have power when out – I got into some trouble when the cleaning staff “snitched” on me. I was duly told off and had to give up my “spare” card key. I guess I could have argued but I was tired and leaving the next day.
Here is a photo from sydneyamw, who seemed to like the idea:
what a GREAT invention! A light switch card on your key ring…. so when you leave the room, you have to take the key, and the card comes with you. You automatically turn off all your lights! SMART!!!!!!
It looks like this system might come to the U.S. if the ACEEE (the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) has its way:
- ACEEE – The Hotel Key Card System Warning: PDF link
Key card systems have become universal in the hospitality industry due to the benefits of increased room security through reprogrammable key cards. Energy management features that control room HVAC and lighting operation represent the next logical step in key card evolution.
Logical? How so? It just sounds like a way to inconvenience your customers and leave them at risk if they leave one of their cards in their room to keep the power on. I wonder if the hotel world will realize that saving a couple of pennies on electricity isn’t worth your customers’ good will.