Thursday, January 10, 2013

Easily-Tracked World After All. RFID-Enabled 'MagicBands.'

4 Benefits That MagicBands:

1) Less Wait Time
There is an episode of South Park in which Eric Cartman purchases his own amusement park, Cartmanland, for his own personal use because he despises waiting in lines all day to get on the rides. Even worse to Cartman are the FastPasses which to him only mean, “You stand in line to get a ticket to stand in line later!”
With MyMagic+ allowing guests to pick three FastPass tickets before they leave home which can go toward either rides or character meet and greets or V.I.P. seating for the parades, this speeds up some of the wait time, especially for the popular attractions. The NY Times also reports that for those who have to wait, saved data about the park guest will make waiting less painful with attractions available to MagicBand wearers. For instance, Scuttle, the seagull from “The Little Mermaid”, will be able to chat about dinglehoppers (I presume) at the new Magic Kingdom ride, Under the Sea.

2) It’s Not a Requirement
Really, really feel uncomfortable about wearing the MagicBands? You’re under no obligation to do it and if you do decide you’d like to, you can decide just how much information you’d like to share with an options menu available online that controls data on everything from giving out your name to emails about special offers. Take one small note though – should you decide to use the MagicBands, even just one time, the most restrictive settings still compile information for the Disney sensors on how you use the park.

3) Cosmetic Changes Arrive with the MagicBands
A busy day at either Disneyland or Disneyworld means an abundance of visitors waiting in line to get in through the park’s turnstiles at any given time. MagicBands need only to be tapped onto a post (in an excellent photo provided here by ABC News) in order to enter the park, saving time to enter and space, particularly for parents with strollers and baby bags in tow with them for the day.

4) Disney Does Make The Culture
With a roster of beloved Oscar-winning films by both parents and kids alike and a recent acquisition of Lucasfilm and the Star Wars franchise completed, Disney does indeed make the culture as well as setting the standard with theme parks. The MagicBands and MyMagic+ only help set the bar higher for other parks to copycat their actions. And while this isn’t the first time a park has introduced a wristband to monitor customers with, ultimately the move to wear the wristband works to both help guests plan out their day at the park with ease while advancing the technology at the Disney Parks.

 Once loaded with visitors’ personal information and credit card numbers, the bands can be used to buy things, to access hotel rooms and to get on wait line lists. Convenient! Disney will also be able to use the bands to track everything people do in the parks and personalize entertainment for them. “Orwellian!,” says The Daily Kos.

Via the NYTimes, which reports the new bands may cost Disney up to $1 billion to roll out for its 30 million annual visitors:

                       "[P]arts of MyMagic+ will allow Disney for the first time to track guest behavior in minute detail. Did you buy a balloon? What attractions did you ride and when? Did you shake Goofy’s hand, but snub Snow White? If you fully use MyMagic+, databases will be watching, allowing Disney to refine its offerings and customize its marketing messages.

Are you that parent that sneaks off to isolated footpaths to smoke weed? If so, Disney could offer you lots of information about its many, many food stands.

                        "MagicBands can also be encoded with all sorts of personal details, allowing for more personalized interaction with Disney employees. Before, the employee playing Cinderella could say hello only in a general way. Now — if parents opt in — hidden sensors will read MagicBand data, providing information needed for a personalized greeting: “Hi, Angie,” the character might say without prompting. “I understand it’s your birthday.”

Companies are increasingly trying to come up with innovative ways to track us as closely offline as they already do online, whether it’s by doing it with surveillance cameras, giving us tracking devices to wear, or by tapping into the tracking device we all already carry around.

                       "Guests will not be forced to use the MagicBand system, and people who do try it will decide how much information to share. An online options menu, for instance, will offer various controls: Do you want park employees to know your name? Do you want Disney to send you special offers when you get home? What about during your stay?

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