Disney's next big thing? 9 Years ago I posted in the forums speculation that one day Pal Mickey could track you throughout the park and become truly helpful. Welcome to the future! The "Next Gen" project is reportly a billion dollar investement into theme park technology that combines wireless technologies, NFC (near field communication) and a massive understanding of what people want when they want it. Parts of this system are already in testing like the "tap to pay" system that allows guests to tap their key card to a receiver to pay for goods and services. Purchases over $50 require a PIN. You will also see this in action at Disney's newest resort, The Art of Animation Resort which uses this technology to gain access to your room. This however in today's standards is common place. This Next Gen theme park technology will be the envy of the industry and most likely hold many patents for the entertainment giant.
Here are just some of highlights of what is to come before the 2014 opening of the new Fantasyland which is currently opening in phases.
The possibilities are endless when technologies are combined. The most noticeable part of the system that is already in place is the free WiFi throughout the Magic Kingdom. Yes, it's nice perk for guests but the real purpose behind having park wide WiFi is tracking those bracelets and tickets. There will of course be an out cry of people claiming privacy issues but I suspect they will eventually give up trying to argue with the fact that there is no expectation of privacy in a theme park. Also consider buying a cell phone 10 years ago, would you have purchased that phone knowing it can be used by authorities to track your movements even with the battery removed? I will venture to guess that Disney will have some sort of alternative to those that are bothered by a lack of privacy but those alternatives will be rather inconvenient.
What do you think? Comments are welcome in the here in the forums.