Radio frequency identification (RFID) tech has been employed in some pretty noble causes, like tracking timber to curb illegal logging and tagging animals for study and to better manage their habitats. And now that RFID has criminal-types like poachers and illegal loggers looking over their shoulders, it's now being deployed against a far more prevalent kind of criminal: you. Three hotels in Honolulu, Miami, and NYC have employed a new kind of washable RFID tag to keep you from stealing their towels, linens, and plush terrycloth bathrobes. It almost takes the fun out of travel.
Linen Technology Tracking saw a problem and devised a novel technological solution. Their washable RFIDs don't just reduce theft, they say, but also help them keep track of their linens in real time so they know when they need to order more.
But let's face it, the main issue here is theft. The Honolulu hotel (the hotels have asked to remain anonymous, just to keep you guessing) says it was taking a bath to the tune of 4,000 pool towels per month, a number that it has reduced to just 750 (a savings of $16,000 per month). And that's just at the pool.
As far as we know the rolls of toilet paper on the unattended maid service cart are still fair game.
Thanks for the heads up...just remove the chip before taking...lol. I mean after spending a couple thousand on a vacation is it really that bad to take a towel as a keepsake?
It was always the best souvenir...
I've never had the inclination to steal hotel towels. I can't help but think about what someone could have done to the towel while rubbing it into my sweaty, hairy, dirty, and sand filled butt crack after a long a day at the beach.
Lol i could only Imagine the genius who came up with this brilliant buzz kill of an idea
Our dog was washed and dried with some of the finest hotel towels "borrowed" from all over the world. She also slept on a few Pan Am and Concorde blankets. It's a huge problem though for hotels...so I'll give this one to them.
Hot Tip: Just put your towel or bathrobe in the microwave for a few seconds and The RFID chip will be destroyed. Watch out for spot fires tho as you can get a small spark from the chip when it fries.
I think some of you are missing the point. They don't have scanners at the exits that go off if you steal a towel. They more than likely scan the towels as they go through the laundry and if a towel is never scanned again after it was put in your room, they just bill it to your credit card.