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From cars to sticks of deodorant, the world is a treasure trove of “smart” devices — some of them more useful than others. As we’ve become more and more accustomed to our devices doing the thinking for us, businesses in every sector — including the travel industry — are racing to keep up. After all, if there’s one time where we want our every desire to be intuited, it’s while we’re on vacation. Which makes the recent announcement of Princess Cruises’ Ocean Medallion wearable technology an exciting prospect for veteran cruisers.
Last week, at CES in Las Vegas, Carnival Corporation — Princess Cruises’ parent company — debuted its latest open seas innovation: the Ocean Medallion, a tiny wearable device that will allow passengers to have a largely hands-free experience. Created with the assistance of the tech whizzes at Nytec, the waterproof device — which can be worn as a bracelet or necklace, on your belt or simply be dropped into your pocket – works a bit like your very own butler. Confirmed passengers receive the Medallion in the mail before the cruise — it comes engraved with your name and ready to be pre-loaded with the kinds of essential data that’ll make navigating your trip a breeze. Guests can personalize their experience by inputting key information and preferences into the Ocean Compass app, which will help expedite everything from check-in to cocktail deliveries.
In addition to working as a room key and cruise ship keycard ID, by using either the app or one of the many interactive displays scattered around the ship, the Medallion can be used to do almost anything on board — make restaurant or spa reservations, arrange a shore excursion, pinpoint the whereabouts of your traveling companion(s), find your way around the ship or order a meal or some drinks to be delivered right away (or at a chosen time) to and from wherever you are or will be.
If you’re planning a cruise for this year and want to take the Ocean Medallion for a spin, you’ll have to wait until the fall; the Regal Princess’ November 13th cruise will be the first ship to debut the service, followed by the Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess ships in early 2018.
Carnival’s not the first cruise line to introduce smart wristbands. Guests of Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships — Anthem of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas — as well as its newest and largest ship, Harmony of the Seas — have the option to purchase WOWbands for an additional $4.99 per person instead of relying on traditional key cards. WOWbands can be purchased once on any Royal Caribbean ship that currently offers them and the same one can be used on a future cruise, so if you’re someone who constantly loses your key card, consider making the investment.
H/T: Digital Trends
Featured image courtesy of Carnival Corporation via Twitter.
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