Disney World’s Internet of Things ~ $1 Billion dollar gamble

Wired has a length article out on Disney World’s redesign.

The story telling of Disney World and it’s design is amazingly in depth for a company that tries to conceal it behind the curtain.  Wired reports that they had an especially difficult time in getting the details they wanted.

Excerpts from http://www.wired.com/2015/03/disney-magicband …

Trick #: -1 … hide the technology

DISNEY SHROUDS ITS creative process in secrecy. This is both strategic and cultural: The company doesn’t want its magic tainted by the messy realities behind the curtain. That’s particularly true of the MagicBands. Piecing together their origin required more than two dozen interviews with executives at Disney and with designers and engineers who worked on the project but could speak only anonymously due to non-disclosure agreements.

Trick #: 0 …

If you sign up in advance for the so-called “Magical Express,” the MagicBand replaces all of the details and hassles of paper once you touch-down in Orlando. Express users can board a park-bound shuttle, and check into the hotel. They don’t have to mind their luggage, because each piece gets tagged at your home airport, so that it can follow you to your hotel, then your room. Once you arrive at the park, there are no tickets to hand over. Just tap your MagicBand at the gate and swipe onto the rides you’ve already reserved. If you’ve opted in on the web, the MagicBand is the only thing you need.

Trick #: 1 … wandering around or designing the most optimal path to every goal at the park

Part of the trick lies in the clever way Disney teaches you to use them—and, by extension, how to use the park. It begins when you book your ticket online and pick your favorite rides. Disney’s servers crunch your preferences, then neatly package them into an itinerary calculated to keep the route between stops from being a slog—or a frustrating zig-zag back and forth across the park. Then, in the weeks before your trip, the wristband arrives in the mail, etched with your name—I’m yours, try me on.

Trick #: 2 … the wrist band that acts as your credit card, cash card, guide, child locating service, reservation system, food menu & gives your name to any Disney cast member, waiter, bus driver you are standing near.

That already represented a slew of feats, chief among them the MagicBand’s novel tear-away design that ensured they’d fit nearly every wrist on the planet. The band looks simple enough: a colorful center panel surrounded by a dove-gray border. But if the band is meant for a child, a parent simply peels away that gray outer edge. Adults can wear it as is, intact. “We had models ranging from what we called the Shaq wrist to that of a child, and everything in between,” says another designer. Disney was adamant that the band’s design reinforce two key values: Everyone is equal in the park, and everyone is welcome.

Additionally the triangulation allows Disney to create a personalized video of your entire walk through & rides at Disney World.  They use it as automatic customer service too – if they notice you stuck in line too long, they send vouchers for freebies like ice cream, food or upgrades.

Wired said that Disney’s begun putting the magic bands on their cruise ships too.

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