Yo Bob! You're On The Wrong Floor
"Hello Bob. You're really drunk, aren't you? Your room is on the seventh floor. This is the fifth floor. Turn around and make your first left to the elevator."
Perhaps Estonian designers Jan Graps and Ken Ruut imagined scenarios like this when they designed "Bob," an internal navigation system (INS) for hotels. But Bob is more than an INS, Bob is also a security system.
Bob is a centrally located computer system that requires a fingerprint from each hotel customer; likewise a print from the same finger would be required to open one's hotel door -- there are no door handles in this hotel. If the door does not sense the correct fingerprint, an alert is communicated to hotel reception and security.
Obviously, there are privacy issues associated with using a fingerprint method of keying doors, but assuming they can be assuaged somehow, the method would save the hotel time and money, as well as provide hotel guests a good deal more security than they currently have in most hotels.
Additionally, each guest would be provided a sensor that would trigger messages from LED diodes and an LCD screen installed on each hotel door. The messages would include the guest's name and short directions, including arrows pointed in the appropriate direction.
The World Health Organization estimates that the average Estonian downs 3.54 gallons of pure alcohol a year, the third highest in the European Union, but the statistics don't include the consumption of illegal liquor. Estonia is surrounded by several other high-alcohol consuming countries. So, if you're wondering why Bob needs to direct hotel guests to their rooms, perhaps that knowledge will give you a hint.
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