Disney’s wireless wristband replaces tickets at theme parks

Walt Disney World Resort

Detailed in documents filed with the FCC this week, representatives with Disney are seeking approval for a wristband that will be used for admission privileges to major theme parks like Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. Rather than having to keep track of tickets, the “Magic Band” can be worn throughout the day and it communicates on the 2.4 GHz spectrum. The bracelet is designed to be disposable as well as waterproof for rides like Splash Mountain or Disney’s various water parks. However, it’s also likely that Disney could produce more permanent models for Los Angeles and Orlando residents that have purchased yearly access to the Disney parks. Hypothetically, it would be as simple as visiting the Disney site or using a mobile application to add a day-pass to the account tied to the band.

disney magic bandBeyond waterproofing, it’s also likely that the band is fully sealed to prevent kids from tampering with the internal components of the band. The band houses a non-replaceable battery and there isn’t a power switch on the device. Regarding communication, the band houses two passive RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag radios; high frequency and ultra-high frequency. 

The band can also be personalized with a specific name. According to documentation printed on the band, the admission rights are nontransferable and the band must be used by the same person each time they visit the park. 

Beyond allowing visitors to gain access to the parks, it’s likely that the “Magic Band” will interact with turnstiles offering Disney’s FastPass system. The FastPass allows park visitors to register at a specific ride for a future time in order to skip long wait times. During November 2011, Disney started rolling out RFID turnstiles at Epcot that interact with a ticket using an embedded RFID chip underneath a Mickey Mouse sticker. In order to activate the turnstiles, guests hold the ticket up to the RFID scanner and press their finger on the bio-metric scanner to gain access to a new area. It’s also possible that Disney could use the “Magic Band” to allow guests access to hotel rooms at Walt Disney World resorts.

Emerging Tech

Happy birthday, Hubble! Telescope celebrates with image of Southern Crab Nebula

In 1990 the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low Earth orbit, where it has remained for nearly three decades collecting information about deep space. To celebrate its birthday, Hubble imaged the beautiful Southern Crab Nebula.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

Netflix vs. Hulu: Which streaming service is right for you?

Netflix and Hulu are two of the biggest names in streaming entertainment. Our guide will help you decide which streaming service has the content you want and the best value for your limited budget.

Block the outside world, tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones -- there's a model for every user and every budget.
Emerging Tech

Star gives off superflare equal to 80 billion megatonnes of TNT. That’s a lot

A tiny star the size of Jupiter has been observed giving off a massive superflare 10 times more powerful than any flare from our Sun. The findings are raising questions about how much energy small stars can hold.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robots that eat landmines and clean your floors

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

SpaceX experiences problem during test, Crew Dragon capsule may have exploded

SpaceX has experienced a problem during the testing of its Crew Dragon capsule. During the engine test firing at Cape Canaveral yesterday afternoon, an unspecified anomaly occurred which lead to plumes of smoke rising from the test site.
Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?