It's amazing how technology is reaching every part of our world. Even when we're out in the middle of the ocean. Keep reading to get insight into how cruise ships are using IoT and AI at sea.
Currently, I am about to leave on a cruise in the Caribbean. I can't help but get curious and see where technology is reaching throughout the giant ship I'm going on.
Carnival operates 100+ ships that travel to 740 destinations across the US, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Australia. Even before you choose to sail away on a Carnival cruise you can experience breakthrough technology from the company's interactive customer experience initiatives. With using IoT technology, connected devices, and AI, Carnival is on a mission to turn cruise ships into smart cities at sea.
Wearable Technology to Create a Seamless Cruise Experience
Ocean Medallion, a quarter-size 1.8-ounce waterproof wearable device that is powered by a battery that can last for at least a month, was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2017. The Ocean Medallion can be carried in your pocket, in a bag or even worn around your wrist, neck or belt. This is the central element that allows for personalization and the use of technology that will elevate the cruising experience on and off the ship.
This device was first used on the Regal Princess ship. This ship is 1,100-foot, has 19 decks, and can carry 3,500 passengers and 1,300 crew members. The modern-day cruise ship has a variety of restaurants, activites, attractions and shows. With so many choices available and no way to experience everything on one cruise vacation, personalization enabled technology can help passengers get what they want when they want it without spending much energy figuring it out themselves.
The Ocean Medallion relies on 7,000 sensors placed throughout the decks on the ship. There are hundreds of miles of cables throughout the ship that support technology. Every stateroom door and staff mobile device is a sensor that enables an IoT experience. Also, every passenger's name is carved into a Medallion that is connected to them. This then tracks their movements throughout the ship and works simultaneously with Ocean Compass - an app and service that displays personalized recommendations for every passenger on 4,000 digital interaction points from 55-inch high-res screens distributed throughout the ship.
What Does the Ocean Medallion Do?
The promise of the Ocean Medallion is to provide everything you want, whenever you want. Some of the things that the Medallion enable passengers to do include:
- Set up cruise itinerary before leaving.
- Check-in remotely and connect to Ocean Ready. This is technology created by Carnival that allows cruisers ro answer health questions and go paper-free, select food preferences and excursions before boarding the ship.
- Access their stateroom without a key. Thanks to geolocation technology, as passengers get close to their room their room lights will turn on, the A/C will adjust to their preferred temperature, and their room's door will unlock when they arrive. This is convenient for passengers and helps the company save on energy costs by optimizing services for when they'll be used.
- Restaurant and activity reservations can be made. Plus all passenger allergies and food and wine preferences will be remembered.
- Receive invitations to special events and personalized recommendations for what to do.
- Track children and/or other members of their travel group, so they know where they are.
- Offers intelligent navigation throughout the ship - is important for navigating 19 decks.
- Cruisers can order anything on demand wherever they are and charge purchases to their account without needing to carry money around with them.
- Aims to be in tune with what passengers are doing in real-time even if it is different than what they were planning on doing. It will adjust support based on what they need at the exact moment.
- Passengers can opt-out of certain tracking programs and determine how much personalization and service that is enabled by the Medallion they wish to use. Passengers can always choose not to wear the medallion.
IoT technology, AI, and connected devices and the way they're deployed to provide impeccable personalized service to cruisers is the way that Carnival hopes to achieve a competitive edge from other cruise lines who are also unveiling their own personalized tech experience.
Marr, Bernard. (2019). The Amazing Ways Carnival Cruises Is Using IoT and AI To Create Smart Cities At Sea. Retrieved April 30, 2019 from, https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2019/03/22/the-amazing-ways-carnival-cruises-is-using-iot-and-ai-to-create-smart-cities-at-sea/amp/