Smart Bracelets: The Future of Access Control?

Aug. 27, 2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

Security concerns are always balanced by the need for occupants to have easy facility access when they need it. A new technology developed by the Tecnalia Applied Research Centre in partnership with the Palladium Hotel Group and Paypal could change that by combining personalized access with daily functionality.

The next generation of wearable technology is here – a smart bracelet that allows hotel guests to access their rooms, make payments, share experiences on social networks, and receive personalized services while maintaining information security. 

When checking in, guests are given the Smart VIB (Very Important Bracelet) in lieu of a room key and are able to connect their Paypal account to the bracelet without compromising its access control function. After connecting to their account, guests are able to pay for hotel services simply by holding the bracelet to a reader. 

The technology also allows for completely customizable access. Guests are only given access to their room and common areas so there's less overlap and anomalies or attempts to subvert the system are more easily recognized. 

Though the product is still in development, its benefits could be enormous. Lost keycards, different levels of building access, and ever-changing security procedures all contribute to access control issues – with wearable technology capable of holding such a vast array of information and updating itself in real time, more continuity between security and access control could be possible. 

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