Carnival Corp. is set to unveil its latest initiative – an app called Ocean Compass that pairs with a wearable so-called medallion – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today. The new technology, which is the brainchild of former Disney executives John Padgett and Michael Jungen, will be introduced to the Princess Cruises fleet this year.
Carnival's new system aims to transform the way travellers experience their vacations by improving ease of purchase, simplifying vacation planning, and allowing swifter and more effective service, all through wearable technology that is designed to be invisible. Using near field communication technology to connect to the ship's payment systems and staff, the app and medallion offer a wide range of functions, including paying for food, drinks and merchandise, acting as a room key, finding family members on board, and connecting to a ship-wide gambling system. It's estimated that the medallion system will require around 7,000 sensors to be installed on each ship using the technology.
While not the first company to introduce such technology on board its fleet, Carnival hopes that its new system will transform the way customers experience and enjoy their time onboard, reducing the need for wallets and keys. Carnival CEO Arnold W. Donald has yet to disclose a timeline for the technology's introduction to other Carnival Corp. brands, but emphasized that its expansion is a key priority for the company.