Thursday, January 10, 2013
Are RFID bracelets going to be the next new thing? Two interesting stories this week suggest they might be.
Disney World have released plans to introduce bracelets for payment for rides and more; visitors input their payment details and can then pay for things by tapping the bracelets.
"Disney in the coming months plans to begin introducing a vacation management system called MyMagic+ that will drastically change the way Disney World visitors - some 30 million people a year - do just about everything.
The initiative is part of a broader effort, estimated by analysts to cost between $800 million and $1 billion, to make visiting Disney parks less daunting and more amenable to modern consumer behavior. Disney is betting that happier guests will spend more money.
“If we can enhance the experience, more people will spend more of their leisure time with us,” said Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts."
(In fact rumours of this circulated in 2011)
Meanwhile music streaming service Deezer are using RFID bracelets at the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival in the Netherlands at the moment. Called 'Where Was I Last Night?' the app can track people as they move around the festival, and tell people what bands and artists they have seen based on where they were, when.
"Just this morning, Deezer shared details of a total tracking concept involving major festivals. Through the use of RFID chips, Deezer will know every single spot you stood at a festival, what you were listening to and when, and play it all back to you the next day. And, share that information with festival organizers, labels, and others interested in tracking these details.
It's called 'Where was I last night?' and it's being piloted at Eurosonic Noorderslag, a pop-focused festival happening right now in the Netherlands. Intellix is powering the RFID strap-on, and in correspondence with Digital Music News, Deezer outlined some of the exciting possibilities. "RFID has never been used in this way at a festival before," an executive at the company relayed. "The personalized email update will contain content and contact details for every artist the attendee saw the night before."
Which means, you can actually remember what you checked out (even if you were otherwise checked out). And of course, so can others, including advertisers and festival organizers. "If successful as an A&R tool, the technology has the potential the revolutionize the festival experience for music fans," Deezer continued."
With Disney the benefit to consumers is more obvious (simpler payment); with Deezer it's less clear, and you can see that there would be more of a backlash, especially as clamped-on bracelets or wristbands are pretty much obligatory at Festivals, to stop you transferring your ticket.
However both fit into my trend of workarounds. Disney could have had a n app to do the same thing, but that would have relied on people having NFC enabled smartphones, while this is simpler for consumers, and you also get a nice collectable object.