(12:25 p.m. EDT) -- Royal Caribbean International has filed a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a new device to be called "Tracelet."
The application, which describes the service mark registration for Tracelet as "Rubber or silicone wristbands in the nature of a bracelet," was filed on October 15, 2020 under the subcategory of "cruise ship services."
Given the name, it is not unreasonable to expect Royal Caribbean's new Tracelet to function as a wearable RFID contact tracing device that could be used to mitigate any potential spread of COVID-19 that might occur onboard.
Contact tracing is essential in the fight against COVID-19, allowing potential positive exposures to be isolated to further prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In their return to cruising, MSC Cruises has adapted its existing "MSC for Me" bracelet for contact-tracing purposes onboard its first Mediterranean sailings. In the past, the wristband has been used to complete transactions onboard and to perform functions like opening stateroom doors. Now, it aids in quickly determining potential risk cases onboard should a COVID outbreak occur.
Princess Cruises' Ocean Medallion technology would allow for contact tracing as well, and it has already been adopted in a slightly modified fashion for use aboard sister-brand Costa Cruises.
Tracelet is the latest trademark application to be filed by Royal Caribbean. In the spring, Royal Caribbean filed an application for a wearable mask to be called "Seaface", though CEO and Chairman Richard Fain told Cruise Critic in June that particular idea had been shelved.
"That was one idea that was thrown out of which we're not pursuing," Fain sadi of the Seaface mask.
One other trademark filing that seems to have stuck around is Royal Caribbean's "E-Muster" drill -- a lifeboat drill that will no longer require passengers to muster in large groups, as was previously common.
Now dubbed Muster 2.0, the revised process will require passengers to review safety information on their own mobile devices or on their in-room interactive TV. Passengers then visit their designated muster station on their own time (but before sailing) to be checked-in by the ship's crew.
As with muster drills of the past, all steps must be completed by all passengers before the vessel sails as a requirement of maritime law and local regulations.
Cruise Critic reached out to Royal Caribbean for more information on its new Tracelet filing and will update this article as further details are made public.