Say goodbye to surly hotel clerks

'Unmanned hotels' being developed in Japan

Unmanned hotel keys

It's been rumored that hotel clerks can sometimes be--how shall we put it--not exactly the most cheerful people around. (Holiday Inn, are you listening?) So this may come as welcome news for those weary travelers who have had the occasional urge to reach across the front desk and throttle anyone wearing a blue blazer and a name tag.

Tokyo-based Pink Tentacle reports that Japanese researchers are working on "unmanned hotels" featuring a system of RFID credit card keys that could be used for everything from making reservations to opening room doors. The possibilities are endless: If such hotels are equipped with Roombas, the only humans left in the buildings may be the guests.

(Photo: Pink Tentacle)

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