Disney uses wearable technology to create more magic

shutterstock_227887045The Walt Disney Company has snapped up wearable technology in an effort to improve customer experience.

MagicBand wearable devices that use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology are being used to engage further with visitors around parks and resorts.

By wearing the bands visitors are automatically able to enter the Disney parks and hotel rooms, purchase food and gifts, use fast-track services and access Disney photographs via an online account.

Speaking at the Digital Strategy Innovation Summit in London on 17 October 2014, Philip Barnes, digital executive at The Walt Disney Company in Europe, said that the digital investment was necessary to keep the company ahead in the digital race. “Was it essential? To outsiders, probably not. But Disney needs to always innovate quickly, before it’s too late,” he said.

The MagicBands, with the guest’s permission, can also share the wearer’s personal data with the park and resorts to enhance their experience around the park.

For example, they can connect their card payment details, so they don’t have to carry a wallet around the park, and details such as their child’s name and birthday can be shared so if a child tapped their MagicBand on a reader when queuing to meet a Disney character, the character would then have information on that child, which could be used to personalise the experience.

“Perhaps she’s meeting Alice from Alice in Wonderland, who can then wish her a ‘happy birthday’ and call her by her first name,” said Barnes.

As part of its digital upgrade Disney has rolled out RFID and Wi-Fi across its parks and resorts, and also pushed the development of mobile apps and its website.