According to the Times, the new agreement signed by hotel owners at "most of the big hotels in the city" provide:
" 'Devices to be carried on their persons at work that they can quickly and easily activate to effectively summon prompt assistance to their location.'
The devices, which will be distributed within a year to housekeepers, room-service waiters and even the attendants who stock the minibars, may vary from hotel to hotel for technical reasons, but all will serve the basic purpose of calling for help.
No estimate of the cost of the equipment."
We know these panic buttons are really just intended for use against sexual predators, but there could be other preventative uses for them as well. Knowing how many weirdos and delinquents like to haunt NYC hotels, we're kind of surprised the devices are only just being introduced now.