Pretend you're a spy with the latest hotel technologies

First keys were passé, and now key cards may be on the way out: USA Today reports on new hotel door-locking technology, with radio-frequency ID, magnetic paper cards, and very Alias and Mission Impossible-esque iris scans and fingerprint IDs highlighted among the new methods tested.

For now, expect to find these types of "keys" at higher-end hotels, rather than budget properties. Sydney Bristow types may want to check out Nine Zero, a boutique hotel in downtown Boston that has implemented the iris scan technology. The Plaza, New York's famous luxury hotel, is considering using radio-frequency cards after completing renovations. The cards will unlock a door when passed by at close range—perfect for travelers laden down with shopping spree bags (or spy gear)—no need to rummage for the room key.

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The new technology stems from the high loss of plastic keycards (hotel guests frequently lose or throw them out), green/environmental concerns (paper cards, iris scans, and fingerprinting generate little waste), and overall security improvement.

So if you find yourself checking into a hotel and getting fingerprinted, don't be alarmed. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is simply to pick your room lock. And then hopefully get a good night's sleep.

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