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Hotel Tracks Towels With RFID Chips

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the please-put-down-the-towel dept.

Crime 173

nonprofiteer writes "An unnamed hotel is now putting RFID tags in their towels: '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.' It's unclear what they do if the towel flies to the Midwest."

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173 comments

RFID chips in laundry (4, Interesting)

Pneathery (1949818) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980422)

My Uncle, and his family own a dry cleaning business in north Carolina and they have been doing this for years. It has caused the dry cleaners to make more money, as well as their clients. Plus as everything comes into the plant, it gets sorted so easily. You can run a cart through a scanner, and the computer reads everything in the cart, telling it where to go, and it is tracked from start to finish. The best part is, the cleaners and their customers make the agreements on the items that are supposed to be cleaned, not the actual pieces being cleaned, so they can tell the hospital who didn't turn in their shirts that week, yet collect for cleaning them. It is the future of dry cleaners.

Re:RFID chips in laundry (0)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980516)

Really? I can see hospitals screwing themselves and passing the costs on to patients by doing that.

But if I was negotiating, I'd insist on paying only for what you are actually cleaning for me.

Fuck hospitals.

Re:RFID chips in laundry (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980986)

depend. They might be paying an annual fee that gets broken out per month. So some month will have less then some would have more then the median agreed upon number of units.

yeah, Fuck hospitals and there treating people.

Are you stupid? I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and just assume you know nothing about how a hospital runs.

Re:RFID chips in laundry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980694)

Then you fucking drycleaners used the fucking RFID to track your unsuspecting customers and then sell the fucking data. No fucking thank you. With fucktarded ethics such as yours dipshit I hope that god-damned mother fucking drycleaning business goes fucking belly up with it putting you, your fucktarded uncle, and the rest of his fucktarded family so far into fucking debt you each have no fucking choice but to live off the fucking street as your fucking credit will be so fucking bad fucktard.

It is the future of dry cleaners

Yeah the future of capitalism is "Fuck the little guy". I say fuck the businesses as all businesses are fucking evil. Capitalism is evil and so are you so a big FUCK YOU FUCKTARD!!!!!!!!!

FLAME ON CAPITALISTIC FUCKTARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Re:RFID chips in laundry (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980730)

used the fucking RFID to track your unsuspecting customers

Do any of you tinfoil-hat wearing anti-RFID ranters know anything about the technology? The cheap passive RFID tags that are used in applications like this have a very short read range, and can only be red if they're excited by an appropriate field. THE MAN isn't going to be able to track you to with a drycleaning RFID tag unless he's from Hogwart's...

Re:RFID chips in laundry (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981346)

THE MAN isn't going to be able to track you to with a drycleaning RFID tag unless he's from Hogwart's...

Damn wizards. I knew all along they were working for The Man.

Re:RFID chips in laundry (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980778)

Did you know that RFID tags are now embedded in Aluminum foil? THAT'S RIGHT!!! THEY ARE TRACKING YOUR TINFOIL HAT!!!!

42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980434)

How easy it it to locate and destroy one of these new RFID-enabled towels? Do these towels retain their usefulness when hitchhiking?

Re:42 (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980530)

It enhances their usefulness.

Now you can use them as a form of ID, even if everyone else in the customs area on Baloofinax IV stole their towels from the same hotel.

Re:42 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981380)

just throw it in the microwave for 10 seconds before you stuff it in your luggage.

Ok but I would (1)

dicobalt (1536225) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980436)

take a towel from the maid's cart. It isn't registered to anyone and they are always sitting there in the hallway unattended.

Re:Ok but I would (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980552)

Seen a modern maid's cart in a nice hotel lately?

Like a giant safe. Locking rollup doors on all four sides, and a locking flip-top lid. She goes into a room and pulls this thing flush to the door frame. It may even lock to the doorframe (that's next if it's not already).

No more casually walking by and grabbing whatever you need. You have to get her to intervene, and then you're tracked.

Re:Ok but I would (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981156)

Geez, what kind of hotel are you staying at?

/ sent from my Hyatt room, where the carts are apparently still unsafe

Re:Ok but I would (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981232)

Like a giant safe. Locking rollup doors on all four sides, and a locking flip-top lid. She goes into a room and pulls this thing flush to the door frame. It may even lock to the doorframe (that's next if it's not already).

I could see that having more to do with stopping theft from open rooms while the maid is busy in the bathroom.

Protecting the towel supply might just be a fringe benefit.

The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (5, Informative)

mbates (471775) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980458)

The Hilton Hawaiian Village. Signs all over the place that the towels are tracked and you will be charged if it is not returned.

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980506)

Does the Hilton HV also have an in-room microwave for guests?

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980816)

That's why they should bill you based on the missing tags, not by detecting them leaving the room.

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980962)

Wouldn't a towel checked into your room, but not to cleaning be billed, even if it was microwaved?

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981048)

"Dear VISA: I left every towel I was provided by that hotel in the room when I checked out. I did heat some of them up in the microwave so I could have a warm towel for my morning shower. Perhaps the hotel needs to actually count the towels and not just the number of working RFID tags, especially when they've provided the means, motive and opportunity for the destruction of the tag without damage to the towel itself. If any of the towels were missing, then the staff stole them, not me. I have no use for used, dirty towels. I have enough of them of my own already. I contest this charge."

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981140)

Dear Obfuscant: Please find attached an updated bill for repairs to the damage you caused to out hotel's microwave.

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981306)

Dear VISA: The microwave oven in the room I stayed in appeared to be in perfect working order when I left. If the microwave oven was damaged in any way by simply heating a towel in it for 30 seconds, then the microwave oven was obviously defective to start with, and any damages would be attributed to either the previous guest or normal wear and tear. I contest this charge, too."

Let's face it, I can keep this up for as long as the Hilton can. What they are counting on is their customers being business travellers whose accounting departments will simply pay the bill because it is cheaper than contesting it. I, on the other hand, am a vacationing curmudgeon who enjoys seeing large companies getting dinged for making ridiculous fraudulent charges.

Re:The hotel -- The Hilton Hawaiian Village (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981382)

Dear dick: Please find updated bill for repairs to towels then.

Well damn (4, Funny)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980480)

I often pop my towel in the microwave for a few seconds to make it nice and toasty. I wonder if I've ever nuked me any chips?

Re:Well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980682)

Of course, you'd have to pack your microwave when you go on holiday to that hotel.

Re:Well damn (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980702)

Gosh, I haven't seen a hotel room without a microwave (coffee maker, minibar, etc) since like the '80s...

Re:Well damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981046)

Just out of curiosity:What price range and what part of the world? As a kid I traveled a lot with my mother and a businessman she was dating since we came along as tourists on many trips and traveling like that I got brief glimpses of many cities (just a day or two per city) and lots of luxury hotels but I never came across anything other than a minibar for self-service.

Re:Well damn (1)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981164)

It depends on the market and price class. In areas where real estate is expensive, you'll be hard pressed to find a microwave, or even a refrigerated mini-bar, in hotels now. New York and London are examples where I've run into this recently.

There also seems to be a trend toward including less of these things in expensive hotels. If you're at a $200/night hotel, the presumption is you'll be ordering room service, not reheating your leftovers in the microwave. And even in the cases where that isn't true, it's not always in the hotel's best interest to provide you with a microwave. Yet another thing to clean and otherwise maintain, while working against sales of room service and in-hotel dining. It doesn't seem to be a competitive feature people demand anymore, and since it distracts from selling other services it's easy to see why they aren't included.

Re:Well damn (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981038)

If one part of the towel mysteriously catches fire then yes. :-)

Seriously though small electronic devices like RFID chips have zero chance of survival in a microwave even for a few seconds. Metal bits almost instantly start to arc and spark in the presence of microwaves and there's no RFID chips which I know about that are hardened against this kind of abuse.

Re:Well damn (1)

KitFox (712780) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981272)

Things that are small enough will not arc or destruct. You'll notice that if you microwave a CD, it will arc and separate the foil down to a given size, and no smaller no matter how long you bombard it. A (house) fly in a microwave is too small as well. (Horseflies are SOL).

The chip itself is of course too small, but the radio antennas that actually allow it to operate as an RF tag are not. So now the question comes up: Is it possible to create an RF tag that works at a high enough frequency that the antenna can be small enough to evade 2.4 GHz?

How long before they lock out microwaves from starting up when it reads an RFID tag inside?

The next worry though that I have is that now I'm afraid to take my towel to the pool. Somebody can swap theirs for mine. I turn in theirs and they're good. They steal mine and I get charged.

Re:Well damn (0)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981068)

I think you can still do it... they just might add the cost of one 1 RFID-enabled towel to your room tab, at check out time.

old news, or a hoax. (3, Interesting)

pbjones (315127) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980496)

this story is about 2 months old. The RFID triggers a sensor and then you may be asked to take the towel out of your luggage, or be billed for a towel. This type of news could also be a hoax and people read the sign and don't take the chance. Theft is theft, it shouldn't happen.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980646)

Theft is theft - but if every person always takes $8 in towels, they will simply charge people $8 more for the room. At which point, I've kind of paid for the towel. And if it's a $600/night room? That towel is a tip for me for paying that. (Okay, *I* didn't pay that, but I spent a week in a $600/night room and took toilet paper, soap, glasses, towels, washcloths. They're not losing money. They didn't even have a dvd player in the room. You can watch movies at the wrong aspect ratio for $16/ea. When it's messed up they'll pretend to take it off the bill without doing so...) Morals are relative to situations...

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980770)

They didn't even have a dvd player in the room.

Somebody else took that.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (4, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980774)

This, right here, is proof that when people want something for free, they will have no problem rationalizing it-- be it free music, or free software, or free towels.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (2, Funny)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980842)

You wouldn't download .. a towel .. would you?!?!

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980896)

It's called fighting fire with fire. If some little punk just walks up to me out of the blue and gives me a smack on the back of the head, getting even is all the rationale I need. If it were someone else I wouldn't jump on a high horse and give him this whiny lecture about how hitting people is wrong even if they hit you first.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980964)

Im not sure I get your point. Are you arguing that Hotels deserve to be stolen from?

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981240)

Personally what I'm thinking is that people should just bring their own towels - that's what I do because I don't want a flimsy cheap one that's been in a thousand other armpits. The thing is; every business has its obstacles - that's life. I don't want the hotel's armpit wipes but every time something annoys me in a hotel I think of how the towels disappear thousands per month and then I smile.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981044)

No, it's called being stupid. even you example is stupid.

the best way for society, and the safety of people is to teach and train better behavior. Hitting doesn't do that.

You attitude is why recidivism rate is through the roof compare to win people in prison where talk to, taught better behaviors and skills.

You don't fight fire with fire except in the most extreme circumstances.

Of curse, you should steal towels and this method is a fine way to do it. Personally, I would include a free towel set in the price and just give them to customers. I mean, clearly there is a market. Not that market might be the ACT of stealing a towel.; which is different.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Senes (928228) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981260)

Cool, when someone assaults you or your family you can take the moral high ground and teach him about how assault is bad mmkay. I'll stick to my implements of self defense and do whatever is necessary to stop the attacker in his tracks.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981332)

No the correct attitude is to find excuses for the punk who hit first while berating the one who responded in kind. After all, one person beating another does not create much fuss and can be ignored by bystanders who can just pretend afterwards nothing happened, while two people fighting each other will be more difficult to ignore which is inconvenient for the comfort of bystanders.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (3, Funny)

ChrisMaple (607946) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981340)

You attitude is why recidivism rate is through the roof compare to win people in prison where talk to, taught better behaviors and skills.

Would you mind rephrasing that?

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981114)

Theft is theft - but if every person always takes $8 in towels, they will simply charge people $8 more for the room.

People have gone to jail for stealing $0.50 candy bars. If they know a guest intentionally stole a towel, that guest should get charged with the proper crime.

However... there's a problem. How can you prove the guest stole a towel, without invading their privacy, insulting them, or accusing them of a crime with little evidence (and possibly major embarrasment for the hotel with cost much greater than $8)?

RFID in towels might be an answer. At least you can inform them there's a hotel towel in their luggage (possible accident), without having to accuse the guest of any malice.

You can just ask them to return it, bill them, or say "Sorry, we cannot return your room deposit until this is returned"

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981336)

Of course, incarcerating someone costs ~$30K a year - so if we sent everyone to jail for stealing 50 cents, there'd probably not be much money left for anyone else. (This is an absurd claim, but hopefully you get the gist of my point.) It's not worth spending $30,000 to save 50 cents. (Okay, you probably wouldn't go to jail for a year, but hopefully you get the gist of my point.)

So yes. This is a much more logical and practical solution.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981122)

Stay classy, Clint.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981134)

That's true, the costs of the least honest and most unpleasant people are spread across everyone. Tragedy of the commons.

I'd hate to have to share an office with you; since I make $75k a year, you'd no doubt assume that you were justified in stealing the pens from my desk and my lunch from the fridge, since I can afford to replace them.

Society only works when the proportion of assholes is kept low. Otherwise, you're why we can't have nice things. Oh, and please don't waste your time on the lecture you were about to give about how faceless corporations deserve to get ripped off because you've occasionally been unsatisfied with the customer service you've received, or how I'm hopelessly naive because I actually assume that most people aren't sociopaths like you.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981304)

Yup. I'd steal your lunch from the fridge. (rolls eyes) And what type of job pays you $75K a year, but doesn't give you pens? Funny example is funny.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981168)

Why should I have to pay more for my hotel stay just so you can get your jollies off of taking home a "free" towel?

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981210)

Fuck you, you greedy asshole. You are what's wrong with the world.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981230)

They're not losing money.

Are you sure? Was it one of the hotels owned by Host Hotels [yahoo.com]? (Hyatt, Hilton, Four Seasons, Marriot, etc. etc.) If so, then yes, they ARE losing money.

You kind of sound like a jerk, but based on your sig, I guess that is the vibe you are going for.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981318)

Seeing as TFA doesn't specify which hotels they are, other than being 3 individual hotels, you've failed to validate your point, though I concede it is possible to be valid.

It is generally assumed when buying services or goods from someone that you are paying more than they are worth.

[Unless it's a loss-leader strategy like Microsoft losing money on an X-Box in hopes they'll gain money from the games -- but in that case, it's still true for the aggregate cost of the "Xbox experience" (xbox + games).]

Generally business works on the profit of "we price things such that we make a profit on them".

This is a rule of thumb, but one that is applicable far more than average (as a rule of thumb, rules of thumb are true 80% of the time, and I'd say this is more like 98%).

Re:old news, or a hoax. (2)

hldn (1085833) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981274)

everyone's against you, but i'm with you clint. i always take towels from hotels, i even take the book they put in the nightstand!

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981328)

I rip the Leviticus anti-gay part out (thanks for the idea, Sir Ian MacKlellan) and (my own special touch) leave it on the floor of my house for years on end to maximize the number of times I trample god's words.

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

Nikker (749551) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981440)

Somehow taking the gay out of the bible for everyone else and carrying it with you where ever you go seems fitting....

Re:old news, or a hoax. (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981458)

Oh zing! I think you just called me gay! Whatever will I do! (besides roll my eyes, that is)

Re:old news, or a hoax. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981412)

I steal just about everything that isn't nailed down in hotels. You can never have enough throw pillows.

Fly to the Midwest? (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980498)

I wouldn't be surprised if they just bill the card associated with the room.

Re:Fly to the Midwest? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980578)

Yyyyyup.

That credit card is like a damage deposit.

Hotels know their shit. Even if they let a lot of mopes get away with things.

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980508)

I have been in hotels all over the planet. Average to luxury, Asia, Europe and the US. One thing nearly all of them have in common (including high end Hawaii hotels) is that the towels are a joke. Small, thin, low cost junk. Why are people stealing that crap?

Re:Who? (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980604)

Kleptos ruin it for everyone.

But, if this RFID thing goes viral, you can expect the return of towels and robes and sheets and blankets that make you want to go to a hotel even if you don't have a reason.

Now if only they could do something consistent about the fucking bedbugs.

Re:Who? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980768)

Now if only they could do something consistent about the fucking bedbugs.

But the bed bugs don't like RFIDs. And besides, the hotels want you to take those with you. Every bed bug that goes out with you is one fewer in the hotel.

Re:Who? (2)

slew (2918) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980954)

Why are people stealing that crap?

Because they can.

Doesn't matter what it is, or how crappy it is, sadly some pathetic folks just feel feel a compulsion to steal, others just feel entitled...

Talk to a hard core song or movie pirate. Doesn't matter how crappy the song or movie is, they just want it in their collection (they often do not even listen to the song or watch the movie). That my friend is compulsive behavior...

Talk to a person that constantly whines about faceless corporations underperforming, or overcharging them for stuff, or descriminating... Then you will understand the sense of entitlement that brings a person to steal.... Stick it to the man!

Re:Who? (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981130)

I have been in hotels all over the planet. Average to luxury, Asia, Europe and the US. One thing nearly all of them have in common (including high end Hawaii hotels) is that the towels are a joke. Small, thin, low cost junk. Why are people stealing that crap?

The last time I was in a super-luxury hotel they had a small shop by the lobby where you could buy hotel-branded towels if you wanted a souvenir of your stay. They were better quality than the ones in the rooms, and very reasonably priced -- I doubt they made a profit, but I bet they had less towels stolen because of it.

WHY would you want one? (4, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980598)

That's what I can't wrap my mind around (no pun intended). Even the most plush hotel towels are laundered and reused by guests, and the vast majority of hotel towels aren't really that high quality to begin with. Is the economy so bad that people are resorting (again, no pun intended) to taking used hotel towels instead of buying their own for a few bucks?

Despite the use of what must be copious amounts of chlorine and near-autoclave cleaning, just imagine what some people leave on those towels. You still want them?

Re:WHY would you want one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980758)

Somebody needs to re-read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

Re:WHY would you want one? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980790)

Is the economy so bad that people are resorting (again, no pun intended) to taking used hotel towels instead of buying their own for a few bucks?

People dont rationalize it like that. They think "boy, this towel would be useful, and Im sure the hotel has tons of spares, and anyways theyve built the cost of losing a few towels into the price of the room, so really Ive already paid for it".

Re:WHY would you want one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981016)

You seem to be white-knighting for anti-piracy attitudes. How much does the MAFIAA pay you? I want in.

Re:WHY would you want one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980920)

Its amazing how people justify theft for the silliest of reasons. One might be they feel it is owed to them, but nothing in the signing or even unspoken was agreed upon about taking things from the hotel. Nobody put a gun to the head of the client to sign the paper, hand over the card and sleep in a bed that is known to have spunk and junk all over it from dozens if not 100s of other people/couples getting busy. As to the guy that slept in a 600/night hotel room, you are just plain stupid for paying that kind of money for a place to rest your head. I used to travel business, and getting up a bit earlier and going to the YMCA locally while either sleeping outside or at a dump hotel to workout and shower paid for itself in so many ways. Just saying, not much for sure.

Re:WHY would you want one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981368)

You're obviously a statist if you think putting a gun over someone's head while he signs the contract should invalidate it. Only actually firing the bullet before he signs the contract would constitute initiation of force and null the contract.

Re:WHY would you want one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981428)

So you're saying putting a gun to someone's head is not initiation of force?

No, no, I don't really disagree, just wanted to be sure I didn't misunderstand.

*pistol-whips AC*

(Yes /.ers, it's AC-on-AC violence --- the equivalent of a bumfighting ring, only you don't have to feel guilty about watching!)

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980664)

20 comments, and the tin foil hats still haven't come out... what's up, Slashdot?

NEWS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980692)

This article is two weeks old, and RFID tagging in hotels has been known in the industry since 2009. Wakey wakey people!

Re:NEWS? (2)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981142)

This article is two weeks old, and RFID tagging in hotels has been known in the industry since 2009. Wakey wakey people!

So, what, it's the first week of January 2010 for you? What the hell time zone are you in?

that could be entertaining (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980700)

All they'd have to do is incorporate the rfid detector with popup tire slashers, iron crossing barriers, klaxons and klieg lights. Locals could sit in lawn chairs across the street at checkout time and watch the show.

Re:that could be entertaining (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981418)

All they'd have to do is incorporate the rfid detector with popup tire slashers, iron crossing barriers, klaxons and klieg lights. Locals could sit in lawn chairs across the street at checkout time and watch the show.

Sounds like an excellent reason to take a cab (or airport shuttle) off the hotel premises when checking out.

LoJack for towels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980720)

Next step is to GPS the towels. When this happens my grandmother is screwed!

Hilton Hawaiian Village (1)

Mjollnir (324074) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980772)

It's Hilton's Hawaiian Village. Just spent a week there with the fambly. Inside the beach towel return bins, you can clearly see what looks to be a RFID reader wand/antenna along with other assorted electronics.

Sucks to be the cust. service reps at that hotel (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980786)

That's the only way you could enforce this, when they try to walk out the door they set off an alarm and some poor dumb slob has to embarrass the hell out of a guest. OTHO, it'll get around pretty fast and it won't go over well. $16k isn't much money for a hotel you know. Just let it go.

Re:Sucks to be the cust. service reps at that hote (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980904)

As SomePgmr said, they might just automatically bill you for it as walk out the door of the hotel. It would be interesting how many people will either contest the charge (knowingly they stole it in the first place), or just eat the cost because shipping it back would be just as costly for the refund. The idea being that the hotel can reduce the loss of revenue due to theft without causing a scene about it.

there's a hitch... (1)

DaleBob (676487) | more than 2 years ago | (#35980918)

The next thing you know they'll be releasing a towel with an embedded electronic thumb... the future is now.

Ford Prefect would be proud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35980994)

That hotel's a frood that really knows where their towels are.

A great scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981034)

You wander through the Honolulu airport, landside, with a plastic wand that has a button that will make the thing beep if you push it. "I'm from the hotel loss detection department and I noticed you have one of our towels in your bag (beep). If you would like to keep the towel that will be $50 or I can call someone from the TSA to have you arrested." The guilty people will hand you $50.

Hotel = Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981118)

If the hotel sincerely thinks that implementing RFID tracking is good for its business, then why the request to stay anonymous?

Coward.

these aren't the towels you're looking for (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 2 years ago | (#35981290)

notice it was specifically *pool* towels. i have to wonder if they were just counting towels removed from the pool area as losses. what i've often done is take a pool towel back to my room and leave it there for the maid to whisk away with the bath towels.

possibly they weren't actually losing that many pool towels from the premises overall, they were just being diverted to the wrong pile. if they need RFID to tell a pool towel from a bath towel, i would suggest color coding or size/weight differences instead.

Re:these aren't the towels you're looking for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35981464)

I'm pretty sure that somebody would notice if for some reason the pool area was losing 4000 towels a month and the room towel pile was steadily increasing by 4000 a month.

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