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Tecnalia revolutionises hotel sector with smart bracelets

The Tecnalia applied research centre has revolutionised the hotel sector with smart bracelets - the Smart VIB (Very Important Bracelet) that enables clients access hotel rooms without the need for a card, make payments using the PayPal system, share experiences on social networks

These bracelets are available at two of the most emblematic establishments that the Palladium Hotel Group has in Ibiza: Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza. This exclusive and pioneering service in the sector has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of the hotel group with state-of-the-art companies in the information and communications technologies sector. Moreover, the Palladium Hotel Group has come to an agreement with PayPal, enabling the incorporation of payment for hotel products and services with the bracelet. All customers acquiring the Smart VIB bracelet or the associated packs (Zen, Ballad and Clubber) can connect with their credit card and use PayPal technology as a method of payment simply by holding their bracelet to the reader. For this it is only necessary to have a PayPal account. This is the first time the leading payment system in the world has embarked on a project with “wearable technology” in the hotel sector. “With this initiative, PayPal has once again shown its capacity for leadership and innovation, providing simplicity and security for presential payments. The tourist sector has been one of the first to adopt smart bracelets, in order to facilitate payments and it is anticipated that this innovation will continue to spread to other industries”, stated Estanis Martín de Nicolás, Director General of PayPal Spain and Portugal. The collaboration of Prodigy Consultancy, specialists in innovation in tourism, has been key at the strategic level, given that the Consultancy has enabled bringing Palladium and Tecnalia together, creating the “Smart Destination” brand. Thanks to this value enhancement, the consultancy has bridged the gap between the requisites of the Palladium Hotel Group and the know-how of the leader in “wearable” technology for the development of the product. “Cooperating for innovating is a maxim at Prodigy Consultancy, and this is why we have promoted the design and development of the ‘Smart Destination’ business initiative, responding to the current needs of the tourism sector and being part of our experience in the deployment of technologic strategies and innovations for providing and initiating ideas of value for the tourist industry”, explained Antonio Andújar, Director of Prodigy Consultancy. “The ‘Smart VIB’ bracelets are a generational renewal of the traditional analogic access bracelets, all inclusive and VIP, in the hotel sector, providing the tourist client with a unique digital and enriching experience, and the hotelier with an integrated solution, totally interoperable and innovative”, stated Miguel Angel Chacón, Director of Smart Destination technology. The Tecnalia applied research centre has been commissioned to develop the “wearable” VIBs for a “Smart Destination”, a concept providing a completely personalised experience that is revolutionising the hotel world. According to Joseba Laka, Director of the ICT Division-European Software Institute at Tecnalia, “we have developed an easy-to-use device that is modern, practical and secure, with multiple benefits for the client and for the hotel. Tecnalia is totally committed to the future of cities and our aim is to transfer all our knowledge and know-how in R+D to everyday activities in order to enhance the quality of life of persons”.