At the recent Google I/O event, the online travel company announced that its Android app will in the near future enable people to check into their hotel rooms using just its app. The express check-in feature bypasses checking in at hotel reception and replaces it with a two-tap process on the app. The app tells you when your room will be ready and, if the hotel still uses keys, when you can go to the front desk and pick them up. The app takes advantage of near-field communications (NFC), where you can wave a phone in front of an NFC receiver to establish a communications link. You can hold the phone next to a door lock and it will unlock it in seconds. “We are working with the best technology partners on this,” Shank said. “There is no reason we need a hotel room key. It’s an antiquated way of doing authentication. Can we help with the check-in process, especially with an independent hotel that doesn’t have a lot of resources.” Get the full story at VentureBeat