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WOW bands


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I was under the impression that they were free on the newer ships.  Apparently not so.

I'll have to decide if I want to get them on the Symphony GC I guess.  I have used the Disney Overlord Trackers Magicbands and find them convenient and easy to use.  I can see them being convenient at the pool but otherwise no real difference if I use the card.

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Sure every ship in the fleet is going to eventually have the contact style doors and readers. Think one of the core features that the Royal app was going to be capable of was a card/band replacement while on the ship.

Personally I think the upcoming dry dock of Oasis will tell Royal's future.

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Extending some thoughts...

One of the biggest things that could be done to help along the adoption of bands would be the roaming bar staff. Give them a handheld point of sales system (tablet or "phone" size). Have the ability to enter the order and read a band or card at the time of ordering. Other thought could be having the signature either captured on device or old school with paper receipts.

The challenge is the willingness to invest in the hardware and competence to setup the software.

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Just now, CGTLH said:

Extending some thoughts...

One of the biggest things that could be done to help along the adoption of bands would be the roaming bar staff. Give them a handheld point of sales system (tablet or "phone" size). Have the ability to enter the order and read a band or card at the time of ordering. Other thought could be having the signature either captured on device or old school with paper receipts.

The challenge is the willingness to invest in the hardware and competence to setup the software.

This is brilliant. I'm actually a big fan of this idea. Like on the Promenade during events so you aren't fighting your way to a bar! 

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Just now, KLA said:

This is brilliant. I'm actually a big fan of this idea. Like on the Promenade during events so you aren't fighting your way to a bar! 

Still have to find that bar server... Only thing my thought really does it stop the need to hand over a card or band.

 

One of the future features of the new app was ordering from a mobile device.

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1 hour ago, CGTLH said:

Extending some thoughts...

One of the biggest things that could be done to help along the adoption of bands would be the roaming bar staff. Give them a handheld point of sales system (tablet or "phone" size). Have the ability to enter the order and read a band or card at the time of ordering. Other thought could be having the signature either captured on device or old school with paper receipts.

The challenge is the willingness to invest in the hardware and competence to setup the software.

Is this not how it works by the pool?  What is the point of it if they have to take your band in the back to charge it.

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1 hour ago, CGTLH said:

Extending some thoughts...

One of the biggest things that could be done to help along the adoption of bands would be the roaming bar staff. Give them a handheld point of sales system (tablet or "phone" size). Have the ability to enter the order and read a band or card at the time of ordering. Other thought could be having the signature either captured on device or old school with paper receipts.

The challenge is the willingness to invest in the hardware and competence to setup the software.

I agree, but they also should improve the quality of the WOW bands, they look cheap. Compared to any standard Disney Magic Bands they look like trash (and the Magic Bands are free if you're staying at a WDW hotel).

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3 hours ago, JBC said:

Don't you have to take them off when you purchase drinks and stuff, and hand them to the server or bartender?  I thought I read that somewhere and that to me sounds like a pain to take it off and on all the time.  If that is the case I might as well just have a sea pass card in a laminate around my neck. 

So this sounds like my qualifying statement of "For a good implementation of WOW band" ... again cant speak to Royal but Disney and MSC versions I have never had to take them off, just tap and hold for a moment and you are good to go.

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Royal's future is smartphones.  Use an app on a device you provide.  

Wow bands aren't cheap.  Even in bulk they add up when you consider many of them will never be used again or not for a long time and if they were free there would be tens of thousands every week going into landfill .  The future is an app.  All major hotel chains are going with apps.

They may update some of the fleet to have app enabled cabin locks but I don't see the whole fleet going there.  Perhaps the "AMP" enabled ships might be upgraded but even that is still a huge investment to replace every cabin lock and this investment introduces zero revenue.  Radiance class and below I predict will never see app-enabled locks on the doors.  Possibly Voyager class too.  Like Mariner the AMP will bring enough WOW! without updating cabin decor or cabin locks.

I'd much rather see decor updated before cabin locks.

Making it easy to order a drink on your phone without leaving your chair does make it easier to spend money which increases revenue.  The future is the smartphone and an app.

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42 minutes ago, twangster said:

this investment introduces zero revenue

Not really, it can have the potential to create revenue (outside of "accessory" sales). Placing readers throughout the ship they could gather various metrics of guests. Get better insight who they might be spending time with. How much time they are spending in various areas.

Yes, I know this can also be done with wireless device tracking.

 

Now on the subject of accessory sales. I'm sure you could find upper tier members of the CAS willing to buy a premium version of a WOW band that might indicate status.

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26 minutes ago, CGTLH said:

Now on the subject of accessory sales. I'm sure you could find upper tier members of the CAS willing to buy a premium version of a WOW band that might indicate status.

Upper members of the CAS expect everything for free, especially if it denotes status.  An RFID enabled Pinnacle badge?  

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Wow bands aren't cheap.  Even in bulk they add up when you consider many of them will never be used again or not for a long time and if they were free there would be tens of thousands every week going into landfill .  The future is an app.  All major hotel chains are going with apps.

I didn't mean the were cheap. They surely look like they're made from cheap material and if you compare them with a magic band they look even worse.  

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1 hour ago, CGTLH said:

Doing some quick research... Pricing seems to be around $1-1.50 a band depending on chip used (based on 20k+ units).

Nice profit margin

You can easily double that for supply chain, warehouse and distribution costs, plus labor overhead, dealing with faults, guests services time, computer issues, etc.and applying a logo to them.

In my experience with RFID dongles the cheap ones have a fairly high failure rate.  3 in 10 are useless.  You get what you pay for. 

I have a device that copies RFID cards.  The version I have is limited to an older platform that can't copy the newer chips used by Royal.    

I suspect there is very little net revenue in Wow bands.  Once upon a time they were supposed to $2.  That would be revenue negative.    

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Here is an interesting article I stumbled across when they were introduced on Quantum.

http://www.rfidjournal.com/articles/view?12380/

Back them RC had goals of using RFID as luggage trackers applied to each bag.

As these ships approach the 3 year mark it's time replace the pair of AA batteries in 3,394 locks on Quantum and Anthem each.  That's over 13,500 AA batteries between the two.  Harmony coming up soon.  With more locks that's probably over 8,000 AA batteries.

Royal Caribbean has set a goal for a maximum 10-minute check-in time for Quantum of the Sea passengers, who will have already created a boarding pass online that includes their own ID photo. When embarking, guests will proceed through a smart check-in process that starts with a scan of the bar-coded boarding ID card that was sent to their home prior to the cruise. Staff members will then attach a passive ultrahigh-frequency(UHF) RFID tag to each luggage item, and will link the unique ID number encoded to that bag's tag with the passenger and his or her stateroom number, using an MC9190-Z handheld reader provided by Motorola Solutions (now part of Zebra Technologies). When the bags are then moved from the receiving area onto the vessel, personnel will read the tags in order to update their status. Porters will again interrogate the UHF tags as they begin carrying them to passengers' rooms, and one final time as each bag is deposited at its appropriate room. Guests can download the Royal iQ app and use its luggage-tracker feature to monitor the movements of their bags and receive status updates, such as "checked in," "onboard," "in transit" and "delivered." 

Royal-IQ-app-luggage-tracker-web.jpg

The wristbands are made with a 13.56 MHz NXP Semiconductors Mifare Ultralight C RFIDchip complying with the ISO 14443 standard—a more secure option than the ISO 15693standard, according to Michael Hrabinas, the executive VP of Feig Electronics, which provided the HF readers used in the self-service Royal iQ kiosks. The cruise ship installed approximately 280 Feig Electronics Obid Classic Pro CPR 40 RFID readers, Hrabina reports.

In addition, the cruise line installed battery-operated VingCard RFID-enabled lock mechanisms at 3,394 doors, to provide guests with access to their rooms. The locks' RFIDreaders enter a low-power sleep state when not in use. "It's important to extend the battery life through power-management techniques," Hrabina says. The approach of a tagawakens the device, which then reads the tag, controls the door lock and returns to the sleep state. Two AA batteries can last for up to three years, he adds, and for tens of thousands of transactions.

 

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On 8/23/2018 at 8:59 AM, twangster said:

The theory was the POS terminals at bars would have a long cord that could be extended to reach the guest.  Most of the time though, the cord wraps around bottles or other items like drink of the day displays so in the end, you do have to usually take it off and hand it to the bartender.

The terminals sometimes have issues.  On Anthem at the pool station it would never read my band for the whole cruise.  My card was in the room since I was going swimming so they had to key in my towel manually.  Took several minutes and quite a line developed while they fuddled with it.  

I had same experience terminals had issues all the time at pool bar.  My son lost his on days 3.   Found out over $40 charged at Arcade.( not used by my son)!

I phoned guest service and they took off those charges.  

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  • 11 months later...
On 8/23/2018 at 10:56 AM, CGTLH said:

Sure every ship in the fleet is going to eventually have the contact style doors and readers. Think one of the core features that the Royal app was going to be capable of was a card/band replacement while on the ship.

Personally I think the upcoming dry dock of Oasis will tell Royal's future.

I am shocked that independence of the seas didnt get this upgrade while in dry dock April 2018. ?

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On 8/23/2018 at 12:42 PM, twangster said:

Royal's future is smartphones.  Use an app on a device you provide.  

Wow bands aren't cheap.  Even in bulk they add up when you consider many of them will never be used again or not for a long time and if they were free there would be tens of thousands every week going into landfill .  The future is an app.  All major hotel chains are going with apps.

They may update some of the fleet to have app enabled cabin locks but I don't see the whole fleet going there.  Perhaps the "AMP" enabled ships might be upgraded but even that is still a huge investment to replace every cabin lock and this investment introduces zero revenue.  Radiance class and below I predict will never see app-enabled locks on the doors.  Possibly Voyager class too.  Like Mariner the AMP will bring enough WOW! without updating cabin decor or cabin locks.

I'd much rather see decor updated before cabin locks.

Making it easy to order a drink on your phone without leaving your chair does make it easier to spend money which increases revenue.  The future is the smartphone and an app.

You think RCCL is poor? I bet they can get them for a penny and charge us $5. ?

I would love to see or know if NFC on the phones can unlock cabin doors. I know Disney world did it and didnt upgrade their internet. (I dont think that is)

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