Monday, April 5, 2010

Microsoft Tags to Tell the Whole Story at Walt Disney World?

I was over at the DisneyShawn blog the other day and had a chain of thoughts leading up to what I think is a good idea to better enjoy the Disney Parks. I was reading his latest update about the Outpost in the Magic Kingdom and saw a comment from Brian about how great it is that everything on the Disney property seems to have a story behind it. After reading Shawn’s blog for a while, I say that after every post. Which caused the first thought, DING “How would I ever know any of these stories if I was not such a Disney Geek and knew how to use a computer?” I guess I wouldn't, unless I talked to a cast member or bought one of the Imagineering books. But even the handbooks don’t really go into as much detail as Shawn. DING, thought number two in the thought-chain, “Why don’t they have signs at each attraction giving us the back story to the building, attraction, ride or whatever?” This was not the first time I had, had this thought. Early on after discovering Shawn’s blog I asked him about that and his response made a lot of sense. The Imagineers did not want people coming down on vacation to be forced or even to be given the option to read any more than they need to. It is an amusement park after all. DING, and then the third thought of the chain fell into place. I have been following the progress of a new type of barcode developed by Microsoft known as the Tag. These tags are colorful to begin with and can be customized to a picture or logo. In a nutshell, if your smart phone has a camera and internet access, you could download a free Tag Reader App from Microsoft. Their reader uses your camera to scan the Tag and connect you to a website. The technology for the tag can be found here. By using this technology, the Disney Imagineers could now provide a Tag at each noteworthy place in the parks. A small one liner in the park maps to explain the small signs that seem to be located at different parts of the park. (DING, thought # 4 just hit while I was writing this. Can too many of these signs clutter up the park? Maybe make them 1 inch by 1 inch? I’ll leave that issue for later.) I think they can be placed strategically at each location so as not to be an eyesore, but easy to find to scan. I'll use Pecos Bill as a sample because he has such a great picture. There would be a 2 inch square logo that you would read with your Tag Reader. This is a quick customizing job. You can get very creative in that you won't see the dots, but I'll save that for when Disney calls to ask for my help in designing the real ones. If you download the Tag Reader and scan this tag, it'll take you to Shawns post on Pecos Bill's, but that could just as easily be a Disney link.
So now those of us that want the full story can find out more right on their phones, right there. Heck, if I was Disney I would provide the phones at Guest Services, charge $20 and just call this a Self-Guided Imagineering tour. It’s not like we haven’t seen groups of people huddling around one phone listening and watching for information before…can you say Kim Possible Adventures?
I do think there is a plausibility factor here, but what do you think? Too much of a gimmick? People still not tech savy enough yet? Not that it matters. Isn’t Disney’s policy to not take ideas from outside the company? Meg? Meg Crofton? Are you reading this?
Thanks to Shawn Slater over at the DisneyShawn Blog for this, at this point, great idea.

1 comment:

Brian Groth said...

I love the idea. As an adult, I'd have a lot of fun at Disney walking around and learning about the different rides and ares of the park.