Monday, January 18, 2010

Disney to Spend A Billion on "Next Generation" Technology?

The Orlando Sentinel (click title for link) is reporting that the Walt Disney Company is planning to spent one billion dollars on technology (possibly based on radio frequency identification microchips) in order to track the movements and actions of guests.

A careful reading of this article raises more questions than it answers. Many of the proposed benefits for using RFID technology -- tracking guests to steer them toward retail and dining opportunities, enabling "fast-pass" style check-ins to shorten lines, creating more of an 'individual' experience by having characters greet guests, etc. -- are possible today, or will be in the near future. Which raises the question -- where will the billion dollars really go? As the article states, this money could pay for two 4,000 passenger cruise ships...or 4 "Avatars"....or a new Disney theme park.

Can Disney buy the "next generation" of technology that will fundamentally change the guest experience for theme parks? For museums?

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