Before discussing the Disney Magic Band, I got to thinking about this from this article linked by Tyler Cowen:
The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created.
What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.
The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted.
“The biggest benefit I think is convenience,” said Patrick Mesterton, co-founder and CEO of Epicenter. As a demonstration, he unlocks a door by merely waving near it. “It basically replaces a lot of things you have, other communication devices, whether it be credit cards or keys.”
If you are like me, your immediate reaction is "Yuk, I can't imagine doing this." But my second reaction is that there is really a step change in convenience here that folks who have not tried it may be underestimating.
The reason I know this is from my experience with the Disney Magic Band, a waterproof bracelet about the size of a small watch. Here is an example, which includes my awesome customized tiger striping I painted on the basic orange band:
At Disneyworld, this band acts as
- Your room key, activating the electronic locks on your room
- Your credit card and wallet, with the ability to pay for anything anywhere in the parks and affiliated stores and hotels with a touch to the reader at every register (most require a 4-digit PIN number to be entered as well)
- Your park entrance ticket
- Your restaurant reservation
- Your ride reservation (Fastpass)
One can easily navigate a multiday trip through Disneyworld without a wallet or keys and just this on your wrist. It is pretty compelling.