The first totally smart ship is set to sail. According to Carnival Cruise Lines, their Royal Princess cruise ship is one of the largest IoT deployments. This could be true, considering that with about 3,600 passengers and another 1,500 crew, the Carnival installation does involve a massive number of individuals . Carnival states that it’s in three ships, and it will be installed on all their ships within the next two years. These ships are being referred to as “technology-enhanced cities of pleasure”. The story that follows offers details of the installations as well as some of Carnival’s land-based plans for similar uses.
I was recently invited onto the Royal Princess cruise ship docked in San Francisco to see what Carnival is calling the largest Internet of Things deployment and how it and other technologies such as facial recognition improve the passenger experience.
It was the first time Carnival had invited journalists to see what it has dubbed as the “first real example of a smart city.”
Every passenger and all the ship’s staff carry a wireless Bluetooth and NFC-enabled medallion about the size of a fat 25-cent coin. Through a massive network of sensors and edge computing devices, the medallion controls the opening of cabin doors, ordering drinks, delivery of services, and in emergencies it ensures no one is missed.