Don't swipe that hotel towel: It might be tracked by microchip

Consumer Reports News: April 22, 2011 01:38 PM

Hotels are trying to curb the number of items that get packed into people's suitcases. And some high-end locations have resorted to washable microchips to keep track of towels, bathrobes and bed linens.

Florida-based Linen Technology Tracking has patented one such washable tracking device. The company has clients in Honolulu, Miami and New York that are using their product to track linens in real time. In an interview with the New York Times, Linen Technology Tracking declined to name those hotels. The Honolulu hotel, which introduced the technology last summer, reportedly saved more than $16,000 a month by reducing the number of stolen pool towels from a whopping 4,000 down to 750 a month.

The radio frequency ID tags also let hotel managers know when they are running low on supplies like bed linens, bathrobes and towels. Perhaps they'll start tracking other hotel room items as well.

Gee, How Did That Towel End Up in My Suitcase? [New York Times]
Don't Forget To Bring A Towel: Some Hotels Now Tracking Your Linens [Gothamist]

Maggie Shader

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