Carnival Corp. is about to launch a new ready-to-wear collection. We’re not talking Bermuda shorts and blouses with anchor motifs. It’s a technical innovation.
Introduced this week at the massive CES technology conference in Las Vegas, the “Ocean Compass” is a quarter-sized “smart medallion.” This wearable disc collects data about guest preferences and interests to deliver a highly-personalized experience.
Cornering the wearable market
Wearables, like smartwatches and fitness tracking wristbands (think Apple Watch and FitBit) is a huge and rising market. The Ocean Compass however, will be a cruise industry first. While the medallion is no charge, guests will be able to purchase watches, clips and jewellery to wear the medallion, which weighs less than two ounces (under 60 grams.) Cruisers may wish to further customize their medallion by having their names or initials engraved. Frequent cruisers will be able to use it on future voyages.
The cruise ships supporting this technology will feature thousands of interactive “portals”, screens that will display itineraries or take orders from a guest’s Ocean Compass. One can also locate friends and family onboard the massive, labrythine ships by syncing medallions.
While electronic wristbands are available on some cruise lines, the Ocean Compass is revolutionary, as the wearer does not have to touch a sensor or swipe a card. One simply walks up to the cabin door and it unlocks. Onboard purchases from food, drinks and casino payments will be effortless. Booking shore excursions and shows will be streamlined and line-ups skipped.
Carnival Corp., besides Carnival Cruise Line, operates Holland America, Princess Cruises and other notable cruise lines. The company enlisted two former Disney executives two develop this pioneering invention.
The future is here. Well, almost — the Ocean Compass is expected to debut on Princess in November and is sure to delight techies and travellers alike.