A One Billion $ Bet by Disney on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors

Description: Jason McInerney and his wife, Melissa, recently tapped their lunch orders onto a touchscreen at the entrance to the Be Our Guest restaurant at Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort and were told to take any open seat. Moments later a food server appeared at their table with their croque-monsieur and carved turkey sandwiches. Asks McInerney, a once-a-year visitor to Disney theme parks: “How did they know where we were sitting?”

Source: businessweek.com

Date: March 7, 2014


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Change is always tricky for Disney, especially at its parks, where introducing a new brand of coffee can spark a revolt by fans. Unhappy mouseketeers last year began a petition drive to keep Disneyland in January from pulling the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show after 21 years (it didn’t work). Others marched on the park’s City Hall in 2004 after recalibrations made to the Mad Tea Party ride in the name of safety slowed it down.

MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. It’s a sweeping reservation and ride planning system that allows for bookings months in advance on a website or smartphone app. Bracelets called MagicBands, which link electronically to an encrypted database of visitor information, serve as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit cards; a tap against a sensor pays for food or trinkets. The bands have radio frequency identification (RFID) chips—which critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  Why is Disney investing in this RFID technology and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for RFID technology and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

3.  Comment on the statement “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.

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30 thoughts on “A One Billion $ Bet by Disney on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors

  1. Tamara First Charger

    Disney is investing in RFID technology because it increases revenues and profit. RFID allows consumers to spend less time on logistics so they can consume food or beverages plus and focus on entertainment. When you have 4 children hungry and scream and crying, as a parent you want to get in and get out! Hit the rides to quite your world for one brief moment. Speaking by experience.
    One potential application is parcel delivery. Since there is more shopping on-line, it is logical to use techology to deliver goods and services.
    Spychips can be used to improve experiences for visitors to Disney. It can be mutually beneficial for both Disney and its visitors. Beyond the realm of Disney and other business ventures, serious privacy issues arise. Where will we draw the line for privacy.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer B

    This could easily be argued both ways, and I see the benefits of both sides. These spy bracelets could offer Disney a lot of information on their customers which could help them customize their experiences. But honestly i feel like the only thing disney is thinking of here is trying anything they can to increase their income. The fact that this is a tracking device is not only extremely creepy but is a huge invasion of privacy. I do not want disney tracking my movements, i feel like that is private information that they do not need to have. Not to mention using this wristband as a method of payment yes it makes it easy to spend money (which is in disney’s favour) but what about if the wristband was lost? We are already facing huge credit card scams, having these wristbands automatically set up to a credit card is an open invitation to scammers. Plus with all the personal information available online for sale, who’s to say that Disney won’t get an amazing offer they can’t refuse and sell all the information that they have been collecting. I understand that there idea of gathering more information to personalize customers experiences could be a good idea but personally i enjoy mixing things up, what i liked and did last time is probably not what i’m going to like and do next time. I think there are too many things that could go wrong, and create huge risks.

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  3. Taylor Lapierre-Campbell

    Although this new technology is new to Disney society as the consumer should not be surprised. In almost all technology there is some form of data analysis that has become the norm. “Critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.” Critics are correct that this new technology has the ability to monitor people. However, why should this be a negative thing? The goal of this new system is not to violate people’s privacy, instead it is to ensure customer satisfaction. The process of analyzing this data is focused on monitoring the popularity of Disney’s products and services, not to monitor the person behind every transaction. I believe “spychips” is a cost-effective, and time-saving method to ensure positive revenue.

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  4. Dakota Manson

    1. Why is Disney investing in this RFID technology and why is it important?
    Disney is investing in this technology to improve the Disney experience for visitors. As we know, this technology will improve Business Intelligence by storing (tagging) visitors’ preferences, banking information, admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit card information, giving Disney a competitive advantage.
    2. What potential applications do you see for RFID technology and in what industries will this add the greatest value?
    With this new technology, the possibilities are endless. The government could potentially invest in this technology as a “National Security” measure. In my opinion, the majority of businesses would benefit from this technology. Business Intelligence means knowing your customers, their preferences, and their routines. This technology makes this information easily accessible.
    3. Comment on the statement “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.
    In my opinion, this technology could be advantageous, if left in the right hands. However, this technology, if in the wrong hands, could expose people’s vulnerabilities. I mean, hackers in today’s day and age don’t need to be very sophisticated to extract information these technologies collect, and store. Credit card theft, Identity theft, or theft in general (in hotel rooms), are already huge issues. I wouldn’t feel comfortable storing this type of information on a returnable wrist watch given to me by a huge franchise that is already targeted by hackers.
    On the positive, I would like to take my son to Disney but haven’t because of the fear he could be kidnapped. If this technology was used, it would be easier to track down children who have gone missing.

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  5. Kendra Bloomberg

    The two main reasons that Disney is investing in RFID technology is that it is beneficial to their customers which in turn benefits their company. These chips are able to track guests every move at the park which gives Disney vital information about guest’s wants and needs that they would not otherwise have access to. With this information, Disney is able to improve their guest services, increase efficiency, and give guests a more personalized experience. As stated in the article, the chips allow Disney to determine when, where, and how many staff members are needed throughout the park, which food should be served in the park, and the types of souvenirs each gift shop should stock. All of this helps serve their guests better to increase customer satisfaction. Aside from the aspect of guest services in the park, the chips also make sure customers have everything they need in their chip wristbands. The fact that customers can use their wristbands as hotel keys, debit/credit cards, and park access passes allows them to enjoy their stay free of they worry they might lose or forget any of these things. It is also very convenient for guests to have everything they need for the park in one place. The features RFID technology brings to the table helps create a more satisfying experience for guests.
    On the business side of things, RFID technology helps Disney increase their income. The more efficiently Disney can run their parks, the more people they can bring in at a time. As stated in the article, this technology has already allowed Disney to increase the number of guests they accommodate in a day by 3000. The more people they can accommodate in a day, the more money they can make. Overall, RFID technology is important to Disney because it allows them to create a better experience for their guests and it helps the company bring in more money.

    Reply
  6. Tolu Adepoju

    “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things”. I agree with this comment. Spychip makes it a lot more easy for companies such Disney for example to gather information on you. How safe is this “spychip”? Does Disney sell this information to third parties to gather more revenue ? do consumers know they are being watched all the time ? How safe is this system. This issue bring about a lot of question and issues; people using technology know they might be followed or watched. There are benefits on Disney’s part using this system such planning out events more and knowing the right amount people to staff and making refers to people by their names. Disney’s industry is a one of the biggest the world where millions of people visit with their families and friends gathering a lot of information on people is a huge ethical issue. I believed that Disney should only use it internally for economic gains but not to track people or send this information to outsiders as this could create a huge security issue and endangers the security of the public

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  7. Ben Lo

    Disney is investing one billion dollars into new technology to provide better and higher quality customer service to those who visit their parks. This way more satisfied customers will provide a higher profit and to ensure customer will return to the theme park over and over again. Disney is investing in radio frequency identification technology so they can understand their customers more and this data becomes essential to their success in the future. They can understand which attractions, which locations, and which foods are the most popular with their customers. This will produce more efficient and cost effective parks which will save the Disney company money in the long run and increase profits if this implementation is successful. “Critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things.” Critics are correct but they should have more faith in these companies that decide to implement radio frequency identification technology. This technology can provide better customer service and will produce more efficient and cost effective alternative methods for the same job or actions. These “spychips” in my opinion are like a recommendation list on Netflix. This recommendation list provides me with a better and faster way to find a movie that would of took me ages to find. As long as companies use this information in an ethical way, I would not have a problem with companies “spying” on me. This technology can already be seen in the smart phone or laptop I use daily so I am getting used to the fact that I am being “spied” on.

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  8. Ben Robinson

    Disney is investing in RFID technology for one reason… They want to make more money. They believe that they can offer people a more complete package if they know exaclty where people are, what time they eat, etc. . If they can use data to tell them peoples tendencies they will make more money. Does that really mean that we are getting a better experience at disney? I don’t know, i think you could argue both side to that. These RFID chips are referred to as spy chips, i don’t feel comfortable knowing that someone is following me and seeing what products to push. But the idea that i can be told that a ride, that i have been waiting for all day, has a shorter wait, that would be a positive for wearing spyware. I think this technology could be used for keeping track of kids in large theme parks, or knowing where your friends are. There are definitely some pros to using this technology that could improve your experiences at events, but the idea that someone can interpret your tendencies and have information about you is very creepy. Just as social media platforms sell your information, it would be easy for Disney to turn around and sell your tendencies to marketers that want to know what your interests are.

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  9. Rui. Zhang

    Disney is investing the FRID technology to make the customers have totally different experience compare with previous. The information system will record what things customers doing, and what things are working or not working. They can imporve and make a good decision in a timely. At present time, Disney has had a system in which a single item, a wallet-sized plastic card, has been your room key, your park ticket, your charge card, and your key to Fastpass. Disney has spent a billion dollars, which is more than any of it’s parks have cost, to gather more data and do very little to change the guest experience, but certainly collect more marketing and operations driven information. According to those imporve, Disney not only can make considerible profits, but also they can provide a better service to the customers. Big data collects customers information, they can use those information to make Disney becomes to the most popular park in the world.

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  10. Wancong Lu

    That is a brilliant idea that Disney bets $1 Billion on technology to track their visitors. Disney can actually know what people like and dislike about their product and activities, which can improve their total revenue every year. i like the idea that people can pay or order food through their bracelet. Also, this is good for children. Disney is the place that every children love, and most of their visitors are children with their parents. when Children get loss, their parents can find them quickly by this technology. Also, if someone in dangerous, Disney can find them as soon as possible. I remember in the past 10 years, there were a lot of news talk about children get loss in some play land, or people in dangerous. With this tracking technology, those are not problems any more.
    Some of people worry about the private issue, they think Disney follow and watch every step they are doing. However, Disney only track you while your at Disneyland instead of your daily life. It is more safe than any others play land. thus, this would not be a problem about privacy. In the future, i believe that many other companies will follow Disney, and do the same things as well.
    By having the tracking technology in Disney, i believe that parents are more willing to take their children to Disney than other places, because of the safety environment. and that will improve Disney’s benefit a lot, and it will be the biggest successful move in Disneyland.

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  11. Spencer Boles

    A big reason Disney theme parks is investing in this technology is efficiency. It is far more efficient to be able to have information about people before the sit down and know what they ordered instantly when they sit down at a table. It eliminates some of the costs associated with things like restaurants because less serves are needed for less work. A huge advantage of RFID chips in a place like Disney land is security. You can know where people are if you need to locate someone as well as if people are places they shouldn’t be. The benefits is security are enormous. They could use this technology to locate a lost child or get an urgent message to a family member. Another application in the industry is it makes it more personalized with using this technology they could chart things such as favorite Disney characters and food preferences which would give customers a more personalized feeling. They could also use it to predict buying trends and for inventory management. The application for this technology are huge.
    These are chips that monitor everything but they are not spy chips. The term spy implies that you don’t know you are being monitored. Most people would know that they are being monitored within the walls of Disney land which they would come to expect. Also this does no more monitoring than target would to or the internet would it is simply just a company trying to give customers more customer value in their purchase.

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  12. Gordon Entz

    This new technology being used at Disney’s theme parks is a great innovation. Disney knows the potential this technology has which is why they are willing to invest a billion dollars because they know it will be worthwhile. The article talks about privacy complaints that people have and I am always worried about that as well but they are only tracking you while your at Disneyland and not your daily life. They are not forcing people to wear the bracelet away from the park so i don’t see it as a privacy concern. For Disney this will help them in many ways as the article discusses such as knowing how many staff to have on hand or what supplies to stock up on. This will create a better experience for park visitors because it will be easier to pay and it it will help with conveniences such as being able to sit and have someone bring you your food. I like this new use of technology and I may make a trip to Disneyland just to check it out. Disney is just the first but other theme parks will soon follow and do the same once they see how Disney is benefitting from this.

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  13. Beili Bai

    Disney invest the RFID technology can attack more customers. RFID are the radio frequency identification chipset. Disney is invest this technology because it allows them to know where they went, so they can get which recreation facility they like. According these information, they know which kind of recreation facility they like which dislike, and Disney can do some change in their park which can attract more people to visit the Disney world. This is a good way for Disney to improve their profits.

    Reply
    1. Beili Bai

      RFID is a good way to collect date about customers. We can also use this techonology in other industry. For example, We can use this techonology in buffet dinner. Depens on these datas, we know which food they like. So the restaurant can cook more than other food which they dislike. This is a good way to avoid food waste and attack customers.

      Reply
  14. Raman Sidhu

    As stated in the article, “change is always tricky for Disney”, it is important for the park to keep up to date with their attractions and technology. The radio frequency identification chips (RFID) are used with MagicBands and have the ability to monitor and record data that is related to people and things. These bracelets assist with planning months in advance, serving as admission tickets, hotel keys, and credit or debit payment methods by simply tapping against a recognizable sensor. This tracking system is definitely a profitable tool for the park. I believe that the data tracked is a great way for the park to build it’s business especially if it’s a tool that assists with determining customer preferences, keeping up with the stock availability, and making sure that staffing requirements are met. However, I also believe that it should remain an optional tool for visitors because everyone views confidentiality and security differently.
    As some may view this operation confusing and a bit creepy, I could see this change eventually becoming a normal method for the park. I don’t see how this could really be an issue as so many devices and things being used today have some sort of tracking tools on them. Some examples include smartphones with voluntary permission to record location information such as for photos and videos, or GPS services, another example could be the usage of payment methods (credit or debit cards), these methods are tracked for locations of usage as they may help detect fraudulent activities, but also keep track of transactions for personal reasons. Now, can it really be such a bad idea with the MagicBands?

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  15. Shea Josuttes

    I think this sort of technology is really amazing and convenient as long as people can get over the fact that they’re being tracked. Personally I don’t mind giving up some of my privacy for a better Disney experience, and I’m sure their are many park go-ers that would agree.
    Realistically these bands are a lot like smart phones (I’m sure Disney has Apps that allow for more convenient experiences at all of their parks) expect it’s got the ease-of-use factor due to the comfortability of having the device on your wrist. Mom’s with five children aren’t having to rummage through bags to keep track of credit cards and tickets because all of that information is stored right where they can see it, on their wrists. I definitely think this technology will make for a more immersive and pleasant experience at the parks, especially because with all that data the parks will be more well-staffed and available to all its patrons.

    I think this technology will be HUGE in the tourism industry, If these wrist bands became the standard in ticketing and payment then tourists would feel a lot safer travelling without having to worry about losing important documents or having them stolen. The convenience of always having an acceptable form of payment anywhere around the world available to you (assuming that foreign countries are able to adapt to this new technology) will take an immense amount of pressure off tourists. This is a technology I really don’t mind getting behind despite the haters of big data.
    (sorry I posted my first reply with my gmail address)

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  16. Shea Josuttes

    I think this sort of technology is really amazing and convenient as long as people can get over the fact that they’re being tracked. Personally I don’t mind giving up some of my privacy for a better Disney experience, and I’m sure their are many park go-ers that would agree.
    Realistically these bands are a lot like smart phones (I’m sure Disney has Apps that allow for more convenient experiences at all of their parks) expect it’s got the ease-of-use factor due to the comfortability of having the device on your wrist. Mom’s with five children aren’t having to rummage through bags to keep track of credit cards and tickets because all of that information is stored right where they can see it, on their wrists. I definitely think this technology will make for a more immersive and pleasant experience at the parks, especially because with all that data the parks will be more well-staffed and available to all its patrons.

    I think this technology will be HUGE in the tourism industry, If these wrist bands became the standard in ticketing and payment then tourists would feel a lot safer travelling without having to worry about losing important documents or having them stolen. The convenience of always having an acceptable form of payment anywhere around the world available to you (assuming that foreign countries are able to adapt to this new technology) will take an immense amount of pressure off tourists. This is a technology I really don’t mind getting behind despite the haters of big data.

    Reply
  17. Fangbo He

    Disney is a most famous park that people like to visit around the world. One of the reasons the Disney tradition stands the test of time is that Walt Disney was more critical of his creations than anyone else could ever possibly be. He was a relentless perfectionist with a keen eye for detail, often forcing projects to go over budget and past deadline because he wasn’t satisfied with the finished product. Besides, Disney is investing in the RFID technology so that they can have more information on what their customers are doing every second they are in the park. I think that RFID can be used in many kinds of industries because its ability of data collection and data processing really can generate the business intelligence. Disney is successful because many people like the device in their, and it can gian peopel’s attention. For example, Mickey Mouse is the crown jewel of the Disney franchise, representing all the good will and imagination Disney represents. The truth is RFID can help some industry improve their technology.

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  18. Kayla Rothe

    Disney is allowing customers to experience a more “a more immersive, more seamless, and more personal experience” at their theme parks by creating the MyMagic+ wristbands that use RFID technology. By investing in this technology, Disney is able to provide customers with a wristband that can do a number of tasks when they are wearing it. The MyMagic+ wristband allows customers to experience ease in many ways from getting on rides, to opening your hotel room or purchasing lunch. As mentioned in the article, this RFID technology allows Disney to track what is going well, and what changes need to be made. For example, it is possible to track when more staff need to be working the rides, or when inventory should be stocked. This can help Disney theme parks run more smoothly and efficiently.
    I believe that the statement “critics derisively call spychips because of their ability to monitor people and things” is true. Although, I wouldn’t consider this to be a bad thing. Yes, it is true that RFID technology allows companies to monitor people and things, but this can benefit both businesses and customers. In the case of the MyMagic+ wristbands, I believe that if you are on the their property, Disney should have the right to track what you are doing. By monitoring the information that is being projected from your wristband Disney is able to gather information to help run their businesses more efficiently. On the other hand, you, the customer, can benefit from this through the improved services they are providing.

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  19. Arth Patel

    Disney has placed RFID (radio frequency identification) chips in their MyMagic+ wristbands which they then give it to their guests that come visit the Disney theme park. RFID chips helps Disney track where their guests are going the most, what they are interested in buying whether it is food or souvenirs, what are they doing, etc. This helps Disney manage their resorts very efficiently. It helps them stock up on food at the restaurants, gift shops, and even make the lines for the rides move at a faster pace. In my opinion this technology is very good and helps the business become more profitable. Many people might think that this is sort of an invasion of privacy, but the information gathered is not being used in a harmful way and I believe that Disney only shares the information within their theme parks and would not sell it to other companies. Everyone that has gone or going to the Disney park will be spending a lot of money and the experience they will have should be unforgettable especially for the kids, you don’t want any kid to be unhappy at the most magical place. The RFID technology can also be useful in finding people or even kids that might get lost in crowds.

    There are lots of advantages of the technology. RFID technology is getting a lot recognition around the world with all the credit card companies that are making “tap” credit cards, and many phone companies like Samsung are also adapting the technology in their phones. Now you can share content with other phones by just tapping the phones with each other and even pay with your phone at a grocery store. This technology is just getting started and there will be abundant types of technology that will use this in future because it’s very time efficient.

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  20. Kim Sikhosana

    RFID stands for Radio Frequent Identification. This is a embedded on the electronic band called MyMagic+. This electronic band acts as a tracking device, Debit/ Credit card, hotel key and admissions ticket. Disney is investing in this technology because they believe that it will create order and reduce the long lines of people waiting for admission in attractive rides. From the data gathered on the band, the park will be able to better serve the customers by either increasing the number of staff at a certain area, stocking up on souvenirs that customers want to purchase and what foods they should have more back stock on.
    I believe that this electronic band is invading people’s privacy. Where ever you go, the band is tracking your moves, the band also has your credit/ debit card information. Problems can arise from this, such as what if you lose your band? That would mean anyone can use your card to purchase and steal your identity. Also, not knowing who is monitoring the information that you put out on your band. Another problems this band can create is that it can take away the fun of being in the Disney Park because now you are there on schedule and you may end up focusing on keeping on with your schedule that you forget to relax and go on your own pace and enjoy.

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  21. Xiaolin Zhou

    Disney walt park, as one of the most influential and largest theme park, is operating successfully for a reason. One of the critical reason is that Disney developed many technologies to promote the merchandise sale and visitors. Just like the article talks about, Disney is investing in a technology called RFID, and this technology does increase the sale a lot. With RFID, Disney can easily monitor what their customers are doing and where they are, and also Disney knows what kind of entertainments or merchandise are most popular. It is really crucial because in a service industry, getting customers’ information like knowing what customers need, what they want is deciding the performance of the theme park. This wrist band is convenient, portable, and easy to use. Many industries can make good use of it, for example, the museums would use it for explaining the sites and masterpieces, besides, they can use it to arrange the crowd, and the overflow of guests. The chip inside the band does many things. This tech could also applies on sports. If athletes wear the band and uses RFID, they can easily obtain their results and then evaluates their performance wirelessly and immediately.

    Lots of industries like agriculture and military are in need of this technology. However, the biggest problem with RFID is that it concerns with the issue of privacy, some people do not want their activities and information being known by others. So now it is still a debating use among people. Therefore, when applying this technology, companies should be ethical and respect other’s privacy as much as possible.

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  22. Jason Cousins

    RFID are the radio frequency identification chips that Disney has placed in their MyMagic+ wristbands. Disney is investing in this technology because it allows them to track their guests; where they go, what they do, what they spend on, etc. This information will allow Disney to focus on what the people like and dislike about the park and their business. I believe it is very important for the company and I have no problem with it. I think a lot of people will disagree with me because they may think it’s an invasion of privacy. When I go to any Disney park, I want my experience there to be the best and unforgettable. I believe the information they obtain from these wristbands will make my experience unforgettable. It is a very smart business strategy for Disney because they will be able focus on the area that is most popular and cut out the area that is not, so they can reduce the costs. It will be a win win situation, I will have a better time and Disney will make more money. I also feel like it will enhance the customer-business relationship and make the experience feel more personal. If Disney can understand their guests with these wristbands then people will appreciate the business a lot more. As a side note it will make the park safer too because it has a tracking device in it, so if a child gets separated from their family, it will be easy to reunite them.

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  23. Bola Fowosere

    Thousands of companies around the world have adopted Radio frequency identification to improve internal efficiency and other business applications, such as supply chain logistics. The Walt Disney Company, commonly known as Disney, is an American diversified multinational mass media company. Ranking as one of the world’s second largest broadcasting and Cable Company in terms of revenue, it is also one those companies that has adopted the use of Radio frequency identification. Based on the article, Disney invested in this technology in other to improve customer experience and maximize profit. While they seek a better customer relationship, Radio frequency identification creates an avenue for the company to increase sales, lower cost, and provide unique customer experience.
    Commonly known as RFID, Radio frequency identification is a form of wireless communication that uses radio waves to identify and track objects. It is an ID-identification-system that relies on a small chip implanted in a tag, which is attached to all sorts of things and capable of recording and storing data, such as a serial number or purchase record. Unlike a bar code, these chips can be read from a distance – through clothes, wallet or backpack – without one’s consent. In particular, it uniquely identifies items because it does not require direct contact or “line-of-sight scanning”. As it transmits the identity of an object or person wirelessly, using radio waves, it allows companies like Disney to use the tags to track items within their control and gather information that improves certain elements of their business.

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  24. Ajuot Ajuot

    Much as RFID may have some advantages, I do support what the critics call “spy-chip”. As RFID has that ability of “monitoring people and things”, it seems that it is another way of collecting people’s information on top of usual security camera. Normally, when people go to the park, they go to have as much fun as they could. But, when they realize that all their moves are being monitored throughout by something other than security camera, some people are more likely to be uncomfortable than they could not have.This shows that it is sometimes annoying to monitor people throughout. Therefore, if it is matter of management issues or security reasons, Disney should just reinforce its security cameras other than RFID technology whose its ability to confidentially keep people’s information is not yet guarantee.

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  25. Joalee Mann

    Disney is investing in RFIDs to be a first-mover in the Theme-park industry to be able to collect data in that particular way from visitors. It is important as businesses move into the era of Big Data; information is power. Disney will be able to collect information about particular parts of the park to invest in, how many employees should be staffed at particular locations and certain times more accurately, find ways to personalize each visitor’s stay; all to increase sales, lower costs, and increase the likelihood that people will return to the theme park.

    There is great potential in many industries in regards to RFIDs. I have read about the clothing industry starting to adapt fitting-rooms and clothing with RFIDs. They not only provide a good anti-theft system to clothing by having reliable trackers in place, but also have great potential in customer services. They can be scanned by the customer in the fitting room and information about the product such as other sizes available, consumer reviews, similar products, and outfit suggestions, and where these things are located in the store will come up. This increases the likelihood of a sale and means that less staff is requires as well. Another application people have mentioned is for RFIDs to be in guns in order to know who the gun is registered to, and where is it if it has been stolen.

    The “Spy chip” comment isn’t surprising, it all comes down to that debate on privacy, and whether Big Data should be collected on consumers; But in this application, I’d say just don’t go to that Theme park if it’s that concerning.

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  26. Krysten Lumsden

    Disney is investing in RFID technology to improve the customer experience (reducing wait times, improved service at restaurants, crowd control, more personal interaction with the staff, easy access to rooms and purchase of food and gifts) and ultimately to make more money to improve its competitive advantage over other parks like Legoland and Universal Studios and Seaworld.
    Applications seem quite wide including such this as ID badges; controlling access to rooms (hotel, buildings, security installations) like an access card; to track things being transported or built – like tracking food along the supply chain or tracking an item on an assembly line; public transportation – like a bus or train pass; in passports; to identify pets/animals; libraries to track books; embed into clothes or objects to track children (people); even imbedded into humans to be used for ID, to pay for purchases and other purposes.
    There are concerns that the technology can be used for tracking people, and things, and security concerns about hacking. It is a bit spooky when you think of how the technology could be used against you, to spy on you. Even to imagine a future where such chips are imbedded into all or most humans; your every move being tracked. It’s not even like a cell phone that you can leave behind. What if the chip is hacked, the hacker has access to all sorts of personal information about you and it could possibly even lead to identity theft. Imagine a hacker stealing the information off your chip and program it into their own chip then going about masquerading as you. Sounds like a good sci-fi action flick, but it could be reality sooner than we think.

    Reply
  27. Hongyu Xu

    I think Disney invest the RFID technology because this critics derisively call spy chips because of their ability to monitor people and things, so that they can collect more data about their customers, also they can know better about their customers, so that they can provide a better service which the way that consumers like. Also it is important because it is a new technology, customers have curiosity about it. Therefore, it can attract more people to visit the Disney world. I think RFID can be used in any industry, because its ability of data collection and data processing really can generate the business intelligence. For example, in the restaurant industry, with the accuracy analysis of RFID, the restaurant would know what consumers like to order, or pre-estimate the number of consumers come to eat for the next day or next month, so that the restaurant can make a better decision and strategy about their business. For example, they can decide the number of servers needed. Therefore, this RFID technology really can help business and improve the efficiency.

    Reply
    1. Glenn ZoBell

      Disney is investing in the RFID technology so that they can have more information on what their customers are doing every second they are in the park. This information will allow them to know what things are working in the park, what things aren’t working, what changes need to be made, etc. This information will also allow Disney to provide a more personal and stress-free experience to its visitors, which will increase their likelihood of coming back. Overall, Disney is investing in this technology the same reason why anyone invests in anything – to make money.
      RFID could be used in almost every commercial application. Airports could benefit from using it so track where the customers are, who is on the plane, who is late and where they are. Farms using RFID can track where the animals are, which ones have eaten, how many have entered the barn. Grocery stores could use RFID for efficiency in purchasing where customers could simply push their cart through a scanner and it would instantly give them their total cost. It would also help with reducing stealing costs in any retail industry. Obviously this is effective to be used in amusement parks or any recreational location where there are many customers.
      Like anything, there are going to be people who look at RFID technology as a negative and think it is an invasion of privacy. Personally, I feel it is a great technology to increase efficiency and production in any business. If someone is that worried about their information about what food they buy or what rides they go on, then they shouldn’t be shopping at those stores or attending those parks. On the other hand, companies should be ethical with the information they are tracking and keep it general. There shouldn’t be any need for companies to take personal information from individuals, and if they did, it should be kept entirely confidential and protected from others.

      Reply
      1. Nathan Watmough

        Disney can be a front runner with the RFID bracelets and big data because it will take a lot to deter people from visiting disney land and disney world. It is pretty sketchy that someone can know exactly where you are and what you are doing in real-time but can’t they just do that with a smartphone in your pocket. I found it interesting that they said that the business to consumer relationship will be enhanced because a server will know you by name. Would a stranger calling you by name really make you feel more comfortable? But who knows. In 20 years we could be so used to it that we will be offended if we go into a business that doesn’t know are names because they don’t have an rfid scanner to scan are bracelets….

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