Washable RFID Tags Help Catch Hotel Towel Thieves

TowlieDamn you, Big Travel! Discovery News reports:

Plush terrycloth bathrobes, 800-thread-count sheets and fluffy, freshly laundered towels can tempt even the most law-abiding hotel guest to take up a life of suitcase-stuffing crime.

Irresistible as they may be, petty theft of these luxurious (and free!) linens are gouging the hotel industry to the rude wake-up call of approximately $100 million a year.

Sticky-fingers everywhere, consider this a warning! Some hotels are reinforcing their defences against pilfering patrons like yourself and they’re using radio frequency identification (RFID) to catch you in the act.

Three hotels in Honolulu, Miami and New York City have begun using towels, sheets and bathrobes equipped with washable RFID tags to keep guests from snagging the coveted items. Just to keep you guessing, the hotels have chosen to remain anonymous.

For more information, see original article.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

    Who the hell would want to steal a nasty hotel towel… gross.

    • SF2K01

      Because some people are entitled asshats that will take anything not nailed down. They paid for the room, so they automatically they believe they have the right to do whatever they want with it. These are the same people that view the workers to be subhuman and berate them when they themselves made the mistake. Anyone who’s worked in any industry where you directly interact with the customer has experienced these people.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EAPUJHWIYQJWKN7HUCSCVHKVTQ David Meadows

    Who the hell would want to steal a nasty hotel towel… gross.

  • F16h9

    Throw it in the microwave and cook the RFID. Problem solved.

  • F16h9

    Throw it in the microwave and cook the RFID. Problem solved.

  • brian mike

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  • Anonymous

    Because some people are entitled asshats that will take anything not nailed down. They paid for the room, so they automatically they believe they have the right to do whatever they want with it. These are the same people that view the workers to be subhuman and berate them when they themselves made the mistake. Anyone who’s worked in any industry where you directly interact with the customer has experienced these people.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Step 1: take knife

    Step 2: remove tag

    Step 3: ???

    Step 4: Profit

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Step 1: take knife

    Step 2: remove tag

    Step 3: ???

    Step 4: Profit

  • http://www.darwinhotels.com.au/ Darwin Hotels

    well, good bye free towels it was good while it lasted

  • http://www.darwinhotels.com.au/ Darwin Hotels

    well, good bye free towels it was good while it lasted

  • Cthomas

    Personally I don’t
    see how RFIDs are profitable for hotels. Yes the cost of cotton & towels is
    on the rise, and hotels spend thousands each year on towels. But I’d like to
    know how the RFIDs are actually used by hotels. I just can’t see hotels tracking down
    people to get their towels
    back.  I work for a hotel supplier and
    the cost of a towel doesn’t seem high enough to make RFIDs profitable. Perhaps
    hotels who are worried about theft could just state they have RFID tags – but
    not actually use them – most people wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
    The goal is to reduce theft, and if people believe there are RFIDs then they
    may pass next time they consider stealing a towel.

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