Do you have the room key?. Oh, yeah, it’s on my wrist…

Technology is all around us. From smartphones with unlimited information access and entertainment, to vehicle navigation, to smartwatches that read our heartbeat, count our steps, and read out our calories burned. Hard to imagine that generations of people got along with corded phones, no internet, and paper calendars.

Room Key?

So, has technology taken the human out of humanity? No, we have just evolved with the tech. And we see great examples of new technology every day. I experienced this on a recent vacation when we checked into the hotel. I was not handed a key or a keycard with the magnetic strip. Instead, the desk clerk gave us four wrist bands. When we reached our room, I waved the band in front of the sensor and the door unlocked.

Outside to inside

That got me thinking. How does this work, and is it safe? So, when we got home I x-rayed it to see what was inside. I was amazed how simple the components were. A little investigative research explained this is known as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Not to be confused with the old barcode wristbands used at concerts and theme parks. That technology only recognized that you had paid and could be there.

RFID technology

RFID goes beyond that and contains everything from your name, your billing information and, in the event of the hotel, your check out date and time. And the minute after you leave, the system resets and what you are wearing becomes nothing more than a useless, plastic bracelet. For the kids, a physical memento of a family trip.

Leave a Reply