Just Tap Here: Technology and Travel
2013 06 07

By Stephanie Rosenbloom | NYTimes



Goodbye, plastic hotel room key. So long, wallet. Farewell, camera.

These days you don’t need any of the above to unlock a hotel room, buy a mojito or snap a vacation photo. All you need is, well — you. At hotels like Alma Barcelona in Spain, a scan of your fingertips opens the door to your room. At Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel in the Mediterranean, you can buy suntan lotion and a sarong with a tap of two fingers. On some Disney Cruise Line ships, facial recognition technology enables onboard photographers to easily group every candid picture they take of you so that you can later browse (read: buy) them.

Like it or not, we are living in an age of human holograms that welcome us to airport security checkpoints and luggage tags capable of texting us when our bags are lost. Technology and travel are becoming ever more fused, even at hotels where for centuries the basic demand has remained unchanged: a safe place to lay one’s head. Today, your head could spin from some of the amenities. At Hotel 1000 in Seattle the rooms have infrared signals that scan and detect body heat to ensure that the housekeeping staff doesn’t knock or barge in, while at Starwood’s Aloft Hotel chain, radio frequency identification allows you to skip the front desk and check in with your smartphone instead (the chain said that more than 10,000 guests have already tried it).

Arguably, the most compelling and unnerving of these technologies is biometrics — the measurement of physical or behavioral traits to verify identity. Once strictly in the realm of spy novels and science fiction flicks, biometrics are increasingly being used by real-world hotels, resorts and cruise ships. For some travelers, it signals a new era of convenience: no more inadvertently demagnetizing your room key or hiding your wallet in your shoe at the pool. For others, it’s yet another zone that Big Brother is penetrating [...]

[...]Hotels, too, are embracing technology, and not simply by placing iPads in their rooms and lobbies. One of the most eager to adopt biometrics is the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel. If you think an island vacation ought to consist of a quiet afternoon sprawled on a beach towel and unplugged from the world, don’t bother making a reservation there. Last year, the hotel was using wristbands with radio frequency identification technology, or RFID, which relies on electromagnetic waves, to allow guests to instantly update their Facebook status by swiping the bands against sensors around the property. New this year: biometrics status updates. Guests input their fingerprints at kiosks and from then on, sensors in the “Facebook pillars” around the property allow them to tap two fingers to update their status with messages like, “Hanging out at the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel ... Jealous?”

Read the full article at: nytimes.com



READ: A Whole New World (Order): Disney’s RFID Tracking Bracelets





Related Articles
Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform
Resist Biometrics - Your Liberty Depends on It
NYPD begins biometric iris scans upon arrest
Problem, Reaction, Solution - Ready for Your Biometric ID Card, America?
RFID Chips Embedded In School Uniforms Keep Track Of Students In Brazil


Latest News from our Front Page

Document Confirms British were Plotting to Invade Germay Before Germany Invaded Poland
2014 09 02
The declaration of war against Germany had nothing to do with Poland, and was in fact a brutal war of aggression launched for economic reasons against the peaceful German people. As you can see in Judea Declares War on Germany. From dailymail.co.uk: An early version of the ‘King’s Speech’ reveals Britain was preparing to declare war on Germany before Hitler invaded ...
Study Claims Cave Art Made by Neanderthals
2014 09 02
A series of lines scratched into rock in a cave near the southwestern tip of Europe could be proof that Neanderthals were more intelligent and creative than previously thought. The cross-hatched engravings inside Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar are the first known examples of Neanderthal rock art, according to a team of scientists who studied the site. The find is significant because ...
EU Nanny State to Ban Toasters, Kettles & Hair Dryers!
2014 09 02
"Despite arctic sea ice growing by 43%, the EU nanny state is set to ban toasters, hair dryers and kettles in the name of preventing global warming."
Nigeria launches new biometric ID card - brought to you by Mastercard
2014 09 02
Yesterday afternoon, president Goodluck Jonathan became the first recipient of Nigeria’s new national eID card, in a ceremony at the presidential villa in the capital Abuja. The cards will be issued to 13 million Nigerians as part of a pilot project, with the ultimate aim of producing a national identity management system (NIMS). Nigeria’s NIMS is an ambitious attempt to consolidate ...
LA Times Now Describing Illegal Aliens As ’Informal Workers’ Who ’Labor Unofficially’
2014 09 02
Via Weasel Zippers, we learned the Los Angeles Times has a new term for illegal aliens in the work force: they’re “informal workers,” and that doesn’t mean they don’t arrive on the job in a tuxedo. Times reporter Tiffany Hsu (a "UC Berkeley grad") began her Saturday story with the new I-word (and illegal immigrants also “labored unofficially” in "gray employment"): Informal ...
More News »