Nytec’s Kirkland Product Innovation Center was critical in creating the company’s latest innovations for Carnival Corporation.
“Carnival came to us with a very challenging initiative that demanded the vision, creativity and experience our global design, engineering and manufacturing teams have,” Nytec Product Innovation Center Vice President Vincent Ball said in a statement. “We partnered closely with Carnival’s experience and innovation team from concept to creation, delivering a transformative innovation enabling the world’s first interactive guest experience, which will revolutionize the vacation industry.”
Carnival came to Nytec looking to enhance the customer experience on their cruises with the help of a consumer lifestyle technology product now known as the Ocean Medallion.
“It’s the first time the world’s going to see a guest experience delivered through the Internet of Things,” Nytec Senior Director for Marketing and Strategy Charles Chang told the Reporter.
Each customer who goes on a cruise is given a medallion (about the size of a quarter) with all of their pertinent information securely stored, from their room number to their favorite cocktail to their preferred payment method. Utilizing near field communication (NFC) and Bluetooth low energy (BLE), the medallion eliminates the need for room keys through an intelligent guest door system, and a smart display system inside every stateroom links with the medallions to display personalized itineraries.
“The medallion brings this personalization that is very new in the leisure space,” Chang said.
The customers can keep the medallion in their pockets or wear them as part of a wristband or necklace, and it is waterproof. The Ocean Medallion technology will be implemented starting with the Regal Princess ship in November. Carnival owns 10 different cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, and the hope is to eventually expand to all of the Princess ships then to all of the lines owned by Carnival.
To make the medallions work, each ship that uses the system utilizes 75 miles of wires, 6,000 sensors and 650 medallion readers.
“They all have to work together seamlessly in an environment (in the middle of the ocean),” Chang said.
Technology used for the Ocean Medallion, including the sensors, display screens and the medallions, was developed and tested at the Nytec Product Innovation Center in Kirkland. Chang said they used the center’s radio frequency chamber to make sure all the signals would work between the medallions and the sensors.
“We are honored that we were chosen to help make Carnival Corporation’s connected guest experience vision a reality,” Nytec CEO Rich Lerz said in a statement. “This perfectly aligns with Nytec’s mission and long history of successfully delivering innovative products and services over the last 41 years.”
The Ocean Medallion was unveiled Jan. 5 at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald. Representatives from Nytec and Carnival were on hand to give attendees the opportunity to take a walking experience tour, a minimized version of what customers can expect on the medallion-enabled ships.
While Nytec is making waves internationally with its technology products, the company was also recently honored locally by the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce with the 2016 Charles (Chuck) O. Morgan Business Excellence Award.