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endless fun close at hand: spatial consequences of Disney's RFID wristband
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  • Architecture
Since January 2014 the tourists staying at any hotel of the Disneyworld Orlando resort receive a very particular object as they check in: it is called 'MagicBand', a RFID wristband. It contains information about the hotel, entrance to parks and fast-passes. It is disposable, waterproof, operates at 2.4GHz, not transferable and can also be used as room key. The MagicBand is part of a holiday management system called 'MyMagic+', which includes mobile applications, a website and credit card connectivity amongst other features. The goal is to offer the tourist a unique 'experience' (Urry, 1990) that is planned in advance from home, customized and payed by credit card linked to a personal profile. It seems very advantageous: parents with strollers will no longer enter parks through turnstiles. Instead, they will tap their MagicBand on a post. Children will receive personalized greetings from actors playing Disney characters. Rubber bracelets also encode credit card information, so no need to carry cash to purchase food or photos. Advertising says "it's so easy that you'll think it's magic". Apparently such advances in technological tracking abilities are 'magical'. Engaged tourists become less passive and have a supposed freedom (Sorkin, 1992) to choose what to do on their holidays, but they also bring Disney very valuable data: what they eat, how much they spend, where they go etc. This bracelet does not increase physical mobility, but it is instead a material device that inaugurates a new era of embodied mobility for the tourist. A paradox presented on Disney?s website as "your key to a more carefree visit".
Lancaster University Sociology Summer Conference & Intellectual Party 2015
Lancaster University
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  • Autor: Arantzazu Luzarraga Iturrioz (UPM)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: ProLab. Laboratorio de Investigación del Proyecto Contemporáneo.
  • Departamento: Proyectos Arquitectónicos
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