Samsung checks in at London 2012

For years, technologists have waxed poetic about a novel concept in hospitality: Smartphones as hotel room command centers. They would check people in, unlock doors, handle climate control and more. It sounded fun and oh-so future-forward. Unfortunately (aside from certain locales in Asia), the tech never took off in any meaningful way.

This summer, however, things could change, thanks to Holiday Inn and tech heavy-hittter Samsung. During the Olympic games in London, VIP guests with Samsung Galaxy S3 phones will be able to check into the Stratford Holiday Inn, open doors and set their AC/heat, all using these NFC-packing devices. The features will be available across a small sampling of rooms — 40, to be exact — and controlled from a Holiday Inn mobile app.

The official mobile communications partner for the Olympics, Samsung seems pleased as punch to be able to make inroads in yet another way. And if response is positive, says the tech maker, you can bet Holiday Inn will be rolling this out to more of its locations.

Have you ever stayed at a mobile-connected hotel? Share your impressions, and tell us if you think this is just a gimmick or a genuinely innovative way to boost the hotel experience.

[via Phandroid, Samsung]