RFID, or Radio Frequency ID, is a way of tracking things without having to physically scan the item. Just proximity to an RFID Scanner confirms the presence of the item. All new US Passports have them. Your credit cards likely have them. It’s rumored that your Disney resort room key has them now. Soon they will be everywhere and part of a giant network of devices and things that talk to each other about each other and about your use of the item.
The IAAPA: In the Queue blog interviews Randy Josselyn of Disneyland Resort who describes how the technology is being used.
For the most part, RFID is being applied as a cashless spending module, allowing guests the convenience of stowing away their personal affects. This is especially true in the waterpark environment, where valuables and wallets are stowed away in lockers.
RFID is also being utilized for ticketless access control. As more and more facilities begin installing “smart” turnstiles, we are seeing an increase of ticketless alternatives. Facial recognition, biometric scans, and RFID are just a few of the popular alternatives to traditional bar-coded tickets. Lockers, vending machines, photo stations, and self-service kiosks can all be configured to accept RFID devices.
The versatility of RFID allows the guest experience to be significantly enhanced, providing an all-in-one solution. The cashless payment solution can be linked to the ticketless RFID device, along with hotel room access, lockers, guest demographics, and even a guest’s personal preferences.
More interesting uses and some speculation over at the full post.
I just attended a business conference which was held at the swan, dolphin, and yacht club. In prior years, they used swipe cards to check people in and out of sessions. This year it was all RFID – they had readers around each entry to a session. Worked pretty well.
So, now you can go to Disney with a cheap RFID reader, scan for open tags, and steal anything you want out of the lockers, or create your own RFID “key” and charge somebody else’s bill… nice.
I will definitely be looking for a way to opt out of this when I go to Disney next year.