InterContinental Hotel Group recently announced that its EVEN Hotels, which is a new health and wellness brand, recently installed a RFID Wristband System to replace keys and cash for guests.

On the surface, this seems like a viable investment that will enhance the guest experience. You can go to the hotel bar and order a drink and have the payment processed through your new wristband, which is yours to keep and use every time you stay at an EVEN property.

But, will this new effort take off?

We all know that a new innovation, if it were an app on your smartphone or smart watch, could eclipse this new effort in a heartbeat. It would also seem that EVEN’s guests are very tech savvy and would embrace a mobile app that allows them to have the same outcomes – without the need to wear a hotel-branded RFID wristband.

We certainly applaud new innovations like this, but they come with significant risk. The investment in upgrading the locks and other aspects of the software implementation can be high.

Of course, this type of effort does generate great PR for a hotel brand. However, is it worth spending the money to have a newsworthy technology announcement, when the innovation will be rendered obsolete in six months?

The most difficult part of embracing hospitality innovation is keeping up with the rapid changes. One new mobile app can disrupt the whole game. And, based on what is happening in this new technology bubble, that particular innovation is being developed in a garage in Silicon Valley as we speak.