TOR SORNES, inventor of the VingCard, the first recodable keycard lock and the magnetic stripe keycard lock, passed away recently at the age of 91 and CHRISTOPHE SUT looks back on the life of a legend.
It is early morning here in Canada and I am feeling safe in my hotel room. I started the day like any other, checking the news, Snapchat messages and finally, my email. There, I received some unexpected news that Mr. Tor Sornes, inventor of the hotel card lock, passed away at the age of 91.
I would therefore like to share with you his story within our company — a story we are all proud of and that allows us to continue his journey today.
Tor Sornes was one of our talented engineers, and also a big fan of the American singer, Connie Francis.
While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair in New York, Francis was attacked in her hotel room at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson’s Lodge on November 8, 1974.
Moved by the story, Tor realized the danger people faced when staying in hotels, and was determined to help.
During the Christmas break, he locked himself away in a small house in the back of his garden to search for a solution — and soon came out with a block that would be the principle of card locks.
Those locks would revolutionize the hotel industry by offering people security for their possessions and peace of mind when sleeping away from home.
I would like for all of us to remember our purpose — to make people feel safe and secure.
Tor managed to change the world by making people feel safe when they travel and created an industry.
We should remember how his sense of entrepreneurship made a difference.
As a last word and in respect for him, I would wish us to remember as we grow, the responsibility we have to build a better world by making people feel safe.
Christophe Sut is Executive Vice President and Head of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality.