Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

TECNALIA revolutionises the hotel sector with smart wristbands


The result of an alliance with the Palladium Hotel Group, PayPal, Smart Destination and Prodigy Consultants

These bracelets allow customers to gain access to rooms and other areas without the need for cards or keys, and to make cashless payments

TECNALIA's applied research centre has revolutionised the hotel sector with some smart wristbands, some Smart VIBs (Very Important Bracelets), which allow customers to access hotel rooms without the need for a card, or to make payments using the PayPal system, share their experiences in social networks through the many touch screens and receive a fully personalised service according to their tastes, at all times ensuring protection of information.

These wristbands are now available at two of the most iconic establishments owned by the Palladium Hotel Group in Ibiza: Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, where the official presentation was carried out this morning. This exclusive and pioneering service in the sector was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the hotel group with the sector's leading companies in information and communication technology.

Moreover, the Palladium Hotel Group has made an agreement with PayPal, making it possible to effect payment for the hotel's products and services using the wristband. All customers who acquire the Smart VIB wristband or one of the associated packs (Zen, Ballad and Clubber) will be able to link it to their credit card and use PayPal technology as a payment method by holding their wristbands up to the enabled readers. To do this, all you have to do is have a PayPal account. This is the first time that the leading payment system in the world has embarked on a project with "wearable" technology in the hotel sector.

“This initiative once again shows PayPal's capacity for leadership and innovation, bringing simplicity and security to on-line payments. The tourism industry was one of the first to adopt the use of smart wristbands for streamlining payments and it is likely that this innovation will continue to extend to other industries", states Estanis Martín de Nicolás, General Manager of PayPal Spain and Portugal. 

The collaboration of Prodigy Consultants, specialists in innovation in tourism, has been instrumental at the strategic level given that the consultancy has permitted Palladium to get closer to Tecnalia, creating the "Smart Destination" brand. Thanks to its value, the consultancy has been a bridge between the requirements of Palladium Hotel Group and the skills of the leader in "wearable" technology for product development. “To co-operate in order to innovate is of maximum importance for Prodigy Consultancy, therefore we have promoted the design of the ‘Smart Destination’ entrepreneurship, which responds to the current needs of the tourism industry and is part of our experience in the deployment of technological strategies and innovations to communicate and promote valuable ideas in the tourism industry", explained Antonio Andújar, Director of Prodigy Consultancy.

“Smart VIB mark a generational renewal to the traditional analogue wristbands for access, all inclusive and VIP of hotels. Providing the tourist customer with a unique digital and enriching experience, and the hotelier with a comprehensive solution, fully interoperable and innovative", comments Miguel Angel Chacón, Manager of Smart Destination.

The Tecnalia research centre had the task of developing the "wearable" technology of the VIBs for the "Smart Destination” concept, offering a fully personalised service which revolutionised the hospitality industry. According to Joseba Laka, Director of the ICT Division / European Software Institute of Tecnalia, "we have developed a comfortable, modern, practical and safe device with multiple benefits for the customer and for the hotel. Tecnalia is immensely committed to the future of cities and our objective is to transfer our knowledge and expertise in R&D to the activities of daily living in order to improve people's quality of life".

For his part, Abel Matutes Prats, Managing Director of Palladium Hotel Group, has claimed, "we have worked for a long time on this project along with the most state-of-the-art technology firms and the best professionals in the sector in order to offer our customers a unique product. We are convinced that, thanks to this pioneering service in the hotel industry, our guests will be able to enjoy an even more complete and exclusive experience”.

About Palladium Hotel Group

Palladium Hotel Group is a Spanish chain of hotels with more than forty years of experience. The chain has 50 hotels in six countries: Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Sicily (Italy) and Brazil and operates five brands: The Royal Suites by Palladium, Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel and Ayre Hotels, and four special products: Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, Only YOU Hotel & Lounge Madrid, Agroturismo Sa Talaia and Mallorca Rocks Hotel. The hotels of Palladium Hotel Group are characterised by their philosophy of offering the customer a high standard of quality, both in its products and in its services, and an excellent price-quality ratio.

Palladium Hotel Group is owned by the Grupo Empresas Matutes (GEM).

About PayPal

The key to all PayPal activity is people: Since its foundation in 1998, PayPal has always been at the forefront of the digital payment revolution, giving the consumer direct control over their money. Through innovation, PayPal makes life easier for the users of more than 152 million active accounts, in more than 100 currencies and 203 markets, processing more than 9.3 million daily payments. Belonging to eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), PayPal is the fastest and most secure system for making and receiving payments. The service allows money to be sent without sharing financial information and with the flexibility of paying from the current account balance, bank accounts or credit cards.  

There is more information at, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and our blog PayPal-Forward.

About Prodigy Consultants

PRODIGY CONSULTANTS is a consultancy that provides comprehensive solutions on strategy, methodology and business in the field of Research, Development and Innovation, that is, R&D&I. The consultancy covers, primarily, the following sectors:

  • Information and Communication Technologies and Information and Communication Society.
  • Tourism.
  • Environment and energy.

PRODIGY is the result of the combination of a team with more than 20 years of experience in the R&D&I field and the coordination of 200 projects presented to regional, national, European and international meetings. The services offer comprehensive solutions to companies in any sector of activity, to achieve innovation, always taking into account the business reality and their strategic vision. All this is carried out efficiently thanks to the use of a network of contrasting multi-disciplinary professionals, and by means of methods adapted to each entity which make use of knowledge and productivity to make the best use of the results in the shortest time and at lowest cost.

About Smart Destination

Smart Destination is a business-oriented initiative promoted by Prodigy Consultants and Tecnalia, whose objective is the output of "Smart Wristbands - Smart VIB” in the tourism industry. Both entities have united their efforts and knowledge, with Prodigy Consultancy, on the one hand, providing the identification of the needs of the tourism industry, monetisation of services to be deployed and project management, and on the other, Tecnalia with its developments and vast technological knowledge.  

These Smart VIB bracelets are equipped with RFID/NFC technology and are coded so that they are customised according to each customer's tastes and preferences. This offers them tailor-made and exclusive services that enhance their stay and experience at the hotel. The wristbands are programmed to guarantee protection of information during the guest's stay, as well as full security in access, transactions or payments via PayPal and identification. A comfortable, modern, practical and safe gadget, with benefits for the customer and for the hotel which can integrate it with its ERP and CRM.

At the same time, the wristbands can interact with interactive totems placed in the hotels and those with which users will be able to directly access their profiles on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Each totem constitutes a digital signing platform thanks to its 42" touchscreen providing interactive content, augmented reality, photography and videos via webcam, identification of wristband user, information of the hotel and destination.

The implementation of Smart VIB smart wristbands as a world first for the Ushuaïa Hotels, Ibiza Beach Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza of the Palladium Hotel Group, represents an unprecedented technological breakthrough, which provides benefits to hotel customers, and to the hotel owners.  


TECNALIA Research & Innovation is the first Private Applied Research and Technological Development Centre in Spain and one of the most important centres in Europe; with more than 1,400 experts, of over 30 different nationalities, focusing on transforming knowledge into GDP to improve people's quality of life, by creating business opportunities for companies.

Inspiring Business is a synthesis of two concepts that go hand in hand: imagining and making it come true. TECNALIA's differential value.



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Marta Fernández

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Tecnalia - Inspiring Business



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