Why Bluetooth Enabled MagicBands Readers are a BIG Deal

Update: Since the original posting of this blog reports are now saying bluetooth testing will only be capable through phone access. 

A rumor came out this week that I think was swept under the rug. Several outlets are reporting a rumor that Disney will be fitting rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with bluetooth enabled readers letting the doors unlock automatically when the MagicBand gets within a certain range. While some might see these as a nice feature and nothing more, let me explain why bluetooth enabled MagicBands readers are a big deal.

Let’s start with what the MagicBand will be able to do now. If this occurs your door will unlock within a certain range and you can simply turn the door handle when you get there and walk into your room. Simple enough and a small convenience. But I am more excited about the potential of this rather than the small convenience of unlocking a nearby door.

Think of what else this could mean. Maybe walking right through a Mickeystile (turnstile) without having to touch your MagicBand (you might still need to touch your finger but if Disney begins to use facial recognition like Universal is testing we might not need to use our finger at points of entry any more) or walking onto a ride you have a fastness for without having to touch it there as well. A simple convenience but if you’ve been to the parks lately you know lines can get backed up very quickly simply because someone has to touch their MagicBand to a touch point.

Several rides now have the capability to recognize your name and a stronger range might be able to increase accuracy while adding in that Disney magic that will have people saying “how’d they do that”.

Those capabilities are already in place and MagicBands now come equipped with Bluetooth technology. But if readers and touch points across the resort now begin to have Bluetooth added to them maybe we won’t need MagicBands at all in the not too distant future. Other hotels like Starwood and Marriott now let you unlock your hotel door by sampling using your smartphone or wearable device like an Apple Watch. Maybe this Bluetooth technology is Disney ushering in the same features to their resorts.

One final thought on this and it is a big speculation but it has to do with immersion. Because it sure would be cool to walk into the Star Wars hotel, which should be themed like a spaceship/base, and have doors automatically open whenever you come near. And I don’t mean just unlocking but actually physically sliding open. Something you’d see in one of the films. Different doors could only be accessible to certain people depending on your storyline but, how cool could that be! Just another potential this technology can bring to the immersion aspect of everything.

What do you think this technology would do for Walt Disney World if implemented?

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