Carnival to turn cruise ships into smart cities at sea

Carnival said on Tuesday that it wants to transform cruise ships into “smart cities at sea,” introducing an “Ocean Medallion” at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas to personalize each guest’s experience.

The medallion is able to track each passenger’s activity on the cruise ship, learning their favorite wines, meals, and activities. Carnival can also offer appropriate suggestions to passengers and track children’s movements on the ship.

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Carnival has worked with U.S. tech firm Nytec to develop the medallion. It is waterproof, doubles as a cabin key, and can be used to pay for things onboard the cruise ship.

Building the customer experience

When paying for things, staff will see the photo and name of the passenger, allowing them to greet by name. Staff can also use data from the medallion to set the perfect time to clean a room or recognize when a restaurant needs more staff.

The new tech-focused approach comes from Carnival executive John Padgett, who previously worked on the MagicBand smart bracelets for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.

Passengers will be able to opt-out of certain tracking programs, but Carnival wants the medallion to become a pivotal part of the journey. It can provide navigation for passengers confused with the layout of Carnival’s huge cruise ships.

The medallion will be deployed to the Regal Princess cruise ship later this year, followed by two more ships a few months later. Carnival intends to have the tech available on all cruise ships but has not given a specific date of delivery.

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