The Internet of Things is taking to the high seas.
Cruise ships are being retrofitted and reengineered to include the latest IoT technology to enhance the experience of passengers.
MSC Cruises, which bills itself as the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, just unveiled a fleet-wide digital innovation program for all its coming ships.
The first mega-ship with the technology will come into service in June and will be fitted with 16,000 points of connectivity, 700 digital access points, 358 interactive screens, and 2,200 staterooms with RFID and NFC access technology.
This follows the introduction of passenger connectivity in the ships of Princess Cruises, highlighted in a major keynote presentation by Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year.
In that implementation, cruise passengers are given an ocean medallion, a small gadget that includes the passenger’s identity and communicates with readers throughout the ship and in select ports. The medallion can be used for unlocking stateroom doors, payments and future reservations.
The MSC Cruise program, branded a ‘MSC for Me,’ was conceived with tech and behavioral science experts with Deloitte Digital, Hewlett Packard and Samsung. Some of the features of the connected program are:
With two major cruise ship companies transforming their vessels into totally connected travel experiences, the bar is being raised for what consumers will come to expect.
Some travelers likely will opt out of the connected services offered, being totally fine with missing the boat on IoT services.