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BLE, NFC Bring Concierge Service to Carnival Cruises

The Ocean Medallion wearable device will enable future cruise-line passengers to access rooms, place orders and receive personalized service, simply based on their location aboard a cruise ship and their pattern of behavior.
By Claire Swedberg
Tags: BLE, NFC

"Sensors are installed throughout the ship's public spaces," Padgett says, "as well as in multiple points in staterooms." A total of 75 miles of cable connect the sensors to the back-end software.

"One of the primary benefits of the Ocean Medallion is that all experience interactions are completely frictionless—no tapping, touching or swiping required," Padgett states. "When a guest's Ocean Medallion connects with the [Ocean Experience platform], all of their desires and needs can be anticipated. It's intuitive, but not disruptive—personal, but not invasive."

The quarter-sized medallion weighs 1.8 ounces, is waterproof and has a battery life of about a month, Padgett says. The cruise line declines to name specific hardware providers; however, he adds, the company uses "industry-standard NFC and BLE components" in the proprietary system.

The system, with the hardware network designed by engineering and design consulting firm Nytec, is not slated to go fully live until November 2017, Padgett says, at which time each guest booked aboard a Regal Princess cruise will be offered an Ocean Medallion. Following that deployment, guests traveling on the company's Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess cruise ships will be offered the same technology starting early next year.

This is not Padgett's first foray into "friction-free" technology. He was instrumental in the development of Walt Disney World's MagicBand wristband used in Disney hotel rooms and parks (see MagicBands Bring Convenience, New Services to Walt Disney World). The bracelet provides access to rooms and attractions, as well as enabling purchases. Disney can also use the band to manage data regarding queue length and the amount of time visitors spend waiting at attractions.

Royal Caribbean has also employed RFID technology to monitor individuals aboard its vessels (see World's Largest Cruise Ship Launches RFID-based Passenger-Tracking System, Cruise Ship Fights Fire With RFID, RFID Sets Sail With Quantum of the Seas and Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas Adopts Assa Abloy RFID Wristbands, Locks).

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