Facebook is experimenting with technology enabling users to access and update their profiles without the the use of a computer or mobile enabled phones. Instead of carrying your laptop or tablet around, the user is presented with a wristband or badge containing an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip to access and update their Facebook profiles at designated stations. The system emerged last year at an Israeli amusement park, the Coca-Cola Village and is already being used by recognisable blue chip names with some notable success.
Dorst & Lesser is a Dutch advertising firm that specialises in helping its clients maximise the potential of social media. The company already successfully used this method of interaction with Facebook at the Dutch Autorei exhibition for Renault. Attendees would be issued with chip-enabled badges to "Like" their favourite Renault model by swiping their badges on terminal pillars. Their latest venture is with trendy Spanish hotelier Ushuaïa.
Located in the holiday resort and party capital of the world Ibiza, Ushuaïa caters to those who enjoy the night life and the music scene, and is often used as a paying concert venue. Hotel guests and concert goers are issued with a wristband containing an RFID chip which synchronises with their Facebook profiles. By swiping any one of the pillars located throughout the hotel, people can upload pictures and post status updates. Other users can view these posts on Ushuaïa's wall.
Facebook integration Ushuaïa Beach Hotel from Dorst & Lesser // Social Media on Vimeo.
The advantage of this system is that allows guests to leave their laptops at home thus lessening the risk of loss or damage. It also saves significant costs on roaming charges incurred when trying to connect with your smartphone. Within the first week of going live the hotel has doubled its Facebook fan conversion rate from 1000 to 2000 per week during which guests have taken over 1200 pictures.
With Ushuaïa singing the system's praises with such encouraging numbers, Dorst & Lesser's creative director Niels Verhoeven stated that there had been interest in developing the same network from hotels and businesses across the globe, with India possibly being the next port of call.