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Business Observer Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022 5 months ago

Rock the boat

Jabil Inc. to build wearable technology for Carnival Corp. at facility in the Dominican Republic

Looks like getting lost at sea may soon be a thing of the past.

That may be a stretch, but technology available from Miami’s Carnival Corp. — now being manufactured by St. Petersburg’s Jabil Inc. — does make it easier if you get lost on board a ship.

The two companies recently announced the tech manufacturing firm is building wearable technology for the cruise line that will be available on Princess Cruises' Medallion class vacations.

The technology, according to the companies, allows you to get on and off ships, keyless entry to staterooms, first run movies “on the go,” interactive gaming and interactive events planning. It also allows you to find people you’re traveling with on the ship.

This is accomplished using a quarter-sized medallion with the ship’s logo, your name and sail date. The companies, in a press release, describe this medallion as a “1.8-ounce wearable disc (that) has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no recharge needed, no menu to navigate and is waterproof, heat- and cold-resistant and sand- and salt- proof.”

Here’s how it’s done: “Inside the medallion are two microscopic antennas — one utilizing Near Field Communication and one utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy. The device seamlessly syncs with an invisible Experiential Internet of Things network of readers, sensors and edge computing devices that recognize individual guests in locations throughout the ships and facilitate experiences for them based on location, personal information they provide and onboard interactions.”

Jabil is manufacturing the medallions at a 60,000-square-facility in a Dominican Republic industrial park. It will then ship them to Miami where the cruise line will hand them out to travelers heading to the Caribbean.

Jabil employs 260,000 people in 30 countries. It posted net $7.4 billion in revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter.

As for the matter of getting lost at sea: while the cruise line does not address how the medallions could help in an emergency, the travel guide Frommer's does point out that "presumably, the disks could help instantly alert the bridge if anyone should fall overboard."

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