Everything is now automated or on-demand. With the snap of our fingers (or push of a button) we can hail a taxi, get the lawn mowed, and even order dinner and drinks. When we go on vacation or travel for business we expect the same on-demand, hassle-free style of service. We want what we want when we want it, right? Many processes fall short of this new customer expectation when it comes to travel, but Indy-based proximity awareness startup Y!kes is ready to fix it.

The dreaded hotel check-in: you must arrive before midnight but after 8 a.m. when someone is at the front desk. Wait in line for God knows how long to check in, and then wish upon a star that they find your reservation in their system. (Finding my reservation always seems like more of a struggle than it should be.) Finally, with key card thingy in hand you swipe and pray you don’t see the little red light or else it’s back down to the front desk to do it all over again.

Nothing about this says automated or on-demand. Until recently, most hotels’ solution to these long waits and hassles has been to offer you an apple or cookie while you wait. I do enjoy these little bribes, but I like the Y!kes solution of eliminating the wait and eliminating the hassles altogether better, and I think you will too!

It’s simple. Just have your cell phone in your pocket with the app running in the background and the rest is taken care of for you.

Y!kes uses proximity-aware technology to check you in and unlock the door for you Y!kes also promises to be secure and safe, which is a likely concern for customers with so many data breeches hitting even trusted brands and the U.S. government these days.

At first, I imagined the app thinking you were closeby while you were on the inside and unlocking the door in your sleep. However, the precision and accuracy of Y!kes is unlike any other. According to Stephen Vincent, creative and marketing director, Y!kes has a patent around inside/outside detection that allows them to determine whether you are inside or outside the room. If inside, the door remains locked, even if your phone is near the door.


A Surprising Experience from yikes on Vimeo.


The app has more capabilities than checking you in and opening your door. Y!kes offers a personalized experience for each guest, including light, temperature and food settings that can be preset in your smart phone.

The Y!kes mantra is “simplifying life so you can enjoy what matters most.” Smart phones often get a bad rep for minimizing our face-to-face interactions and gluing our faces to a screen. Here is a prime example of technology that works with our smart phones to actually give us more time to spend with our families and what truly matters.

The name is Y!kes because for actual users of the Y!kes platform, it is a true exclamation! “An actual h(app)y moment.” It is no accident that there is an exclamation mark in their name.  


Y!kes cofounders ( and brothers) A.J. Robertson and Ben Robertson (left to right).


Ben Robertson, cofounder and CEO,answered a few questions we had about Y!kes.

Please tell us in the simplest terms Y!kes does.

Y!kes is a proximity-aware solutions company. Combining proximity hardware & software technology, we built the platform leading to an increase in customer brand loyalty, as well as an automation & leniency of business operations.

How do we achieve this?

  • Proximity awareness. In a Y!kes enabled environment, businesses interact instantly with their customers, bringing a more personal touch to their interactions.
  • Multi-point security. Thanks to our triangular architecture, short-span credential points, and multi-level encryption points, our customers’ and users’ security and privacy are in the best hands.
  • Data collection. Thanks to our technology, we monitor users’ behaviors, movements and get to know their preferences… Not only do businesses get to know their customers more intimately, they also identify opportunities to streamline and automate their operations processes.
  • Contextual personalization. Proximity awareness enables businesses to engage with their customers in a personalized and contextual fashion, building long-lasting brand loyalty.

What pain points are most prevalent for customers seeking your app in the marketplace today?

On the consumer side, there is the demand for the instantaneous reward and the expectation of aggregation and personalization.

On the business side, there is the need to engage customers at a more intimate/personal level, as well as offering choice and control to the same customers. In addition, with technology improvement, businesses look for ways to automate operations. They want to have something new and unique that will keep customers wanting to come back. 

Can you outline the experience of developing Y!kes? What was the genesis?

The vision of utilizing technology to automate and enhance people’s lives, so that things can just intuitively happen has always been the driving force behind Yikes.

I am very grateful for a brother who came alongside me early on to brave this battle and help establish the foundation for the dynamic team we have today. Imparting this vision of simplifying life to our team, investors, and the market, has ultimately been the genesis behind our product’s success.

Know about a company we should profile?

Don’t keep it to yourself. Click here and tell us who is doing innovative, excellent or just plain interesting things in tech around Indiana!