Warning for Those Who Take Hotel Towels

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Those oh-so-fluffy hotel towels may seem hard to resist taking home, but guests who do so should know that new technology might be tracking that linen straight to their doorsteps.

Linen Technology Tracking, a Miami company, has patented a washable RFID chip that can be sewn into towels, robes and bed sheets. The chip allows hotels to keep track of their linens, reducing loss and helping with inventory.

The New York Times reports that Linen Technology Tracking's executive vice president, William Serbin said three hotels in Honolulu, Miami and Manhattan are currently using the chip, but did not want their names used.

Serbin, however, told the Times that the Honolulu property, which introduced the technology last summer, has reduced theft of its pool towels from 4,000 a month to just 750, saving more than $16,000 a month.

Besides the obvious theft deterrent, the company says the chip can also benefit hotels by reducing inventory time and labor, improve control and savings within the laundry process and help with the management of linen purchases.

Considering linen is one of the hotel industry's biggest expenses, and bound to get bigger with the rising cost of cotton, the embedded chip may prove to be extremely popular with hoteliers.

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