The Walt Disney Co.’s theme-park division is quietly working on a major technology initiative that boosters hope could radically transform the theme-park experience.
Details of the project, dubbed within Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as “next generation experience” or “NextGen,” are being closely guarded. But there is widespread speculation among former Disney executives and bloggers who follow the company that at least part of the project involves wireless-communication technology that could be used in concepts ranging from keyless hotel-room doors to rides and shows in which the experience varies based on an individual guest’s preferences.
The secrecy, of course, hasn’t stopped speculation. Though the “NextGen” work has multiple components, several Disney bloggers, including Crawford, have reported that a key part involves the development of radio-frequency identification microchips that could be implanted into park passes or wristbands. Guests would supply personal information ahead of their arrival — from their names and credit-card numbers to their favorite Disney characters — that would be downloaded onto the RFID microchips, which would then interact with sensors deployed throughout Disney’s resorts.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Others would expound on this with a few thousand words of their own. All of them pompous and boring.
All you need to know is to keep an eye on Disney if you want hints of what Apple is up to. Steve Jobs is majority shareholder of Disney. He wants to protect that investment and will push Disney into the 21st century bit by bit.
And all of it will tie into Apple too.
He’s already been involved in redesigning Disney Stores.
Why not Disneyland and Disney World too?
Now we wait to see what sort of RFID/NFC capability the new iPod Touch, iSlate, and iPhone will have.