Disneyworld is a testing ground for society at large. Here’s the latest in herd management technology.
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.
We recently tried the system out. It’s yet another technological double edged sword: it’s quick and convenient, but is it worth the surrender of your privacy?
While in the Kingdom, I attempted to buy a banana. The magical Mickey head scanner was broken at the vendor’s cart. Without cash, ID, or other currency, I could not obtain the fruit. At one point the chip scanner wouldn’t let me in my room. One wrong keystroke and your chip could be deactivated, rendering you useless.
This will be your future, and it won’t be long.