Quantum of the Seas: The World’s First Smart Ship?
Along with the rest of the media hype surrounding the imminent release of Quantum of the Seas – the biggest cruise ship the world has ever seen – onto open water in November, comes the revelation that it will also be the world’s first ‘Smart Ship’.
Royal Caribbean have announced that the reason behind the new moniker is the brand new technology that will be available on-board – more than on any cruise ship ever created, and some technology which will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
The cruise line have also announced that the ‘Smart Ship’ experience begins with the fastest Internet access at sea ever. Internet speeds on cruise ships are notoriously slow, so this will be refreshing for crew and passengers alike, with Royal Caribbean claiming that passengers will be able to remain connected to the Internet at much higher speeds for longer periods of time during the entire cruise. This higher bandwidth allows passengers to use computers and smart phones alongside a new interactive bracelet that each passenger to the ship will be issued with upon their embarkation.
This new bracelet has a customised radio frequency identification band made of rubber, which may not sound like much but actually, it contains all of the smart electronics that allow you to be permanently connected to the ship’s network and Internet. It will also replace the current magnetic ID key cards most ships use to gain statesroom access, dining and shore excursion reservations and on-board purchases, without the risk of the band de-magnetising.
On top of all this, a new software app for smartphones will be available to all network devices called ‘Royal IQ’. This tracks the ID, statesrooms, preferences and reservations of each passengers, as well as providing the individual with the ship’s daily schedules of events and maps of the ship at a quick press of a button. The bracelets also link in with this – a tap of the finger will activate the bracelets and allow guests to interact exclusively with the ‘Royal IQ’ software located at digital screens throughout the ship using hand signals and gestures alone.
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