If a recently filed series of patents is any indication, popular cruise line Royal Caribbean is looking to implement biometric facial recognition technology onboard its cruise ships for contactless stateroom access.
A recent post on Royal Caribbean Blog — a fan site with no apparent affiliation with the company itself — revealed that Royal Caribbean filed paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for what it calls a “multifunctional smart door device” that would be capable of using facial recognition technology to allow access to a stateroom for passengers and authorized employees.
Current Royal Caribbean practices see passengers given a “SeaPass” card upon boarding the ship to access their rooms, with crew members also possessing master key cards to gain entry to the rooms for cleaning and safety reasons.
According to the blog post, the device outlined in the patent filing will be able to perform a number of other functions in addition to its biometric access control feature, including allowing the passenger to control various stateroom personalization features (climate control, media, lighting, and window shade settings among them), display notifications on its screen, and enable a remote unlocking feature.
This development follows a growing trend in the travel and leisure industries that sees a marked move towards biometrics, and particularly contactless solutions. In this case, however, there is no indication as of yet addressing how passenger biometric data will be stored, another growing point of emphasis in markets making a move to integrate biometric technology.
The patent filings offer the latest indication of Royal Caribbean’s increased willingness to adopt new technologies. Earlier this year, the company announced a partnership with Smart Engines with the aim of streamlining the passenger screening process by using document recognition.
Additionally, in April Royal Caribbean celebrated the groundbreaking of its new 150,000-square-foot cruise terminal in Galveston, Texas, that will feature biometric technology designed to make the check-in process faster and safer for vacationers.
Source: Royal Caribbean Blog
November 15, 2021 — by Tony Bitzionis