Who wants to live at Disney World?

Tech bros do.

Disney's Partners (Infrared Photo)
Disney’s Partners (Infrared Photo) by Tom Bricker. CC licenced.


MG Siegler, writing at the billionaires’ typewriter, compared the Apple Watch and Disney’s Magic Band. Jumping off from an article in Wired that described the Magic Band as magic (obvs), allowing such amazing conveniences as having your waiter find your table, Siegler explains how the Magic Band requires tracking your every movement through the theme park. He then notes that similar tracking will be a primary feature of the iWatch and he plays up the idea that people who’ve criticized the iWatch for tracking are simultaneously enthused about Magic Band. Then, having set up the straw man, he tears it down (italics in the original):

Here’s the other thing: the Apple Watch, if successful, will be the MagicBand for the real world. It will offer up everything the MagicBand can inside Disney World, but in many other places in the real world. And so much more.

Siegler also posted a shot of a paragraph of the Wired article on Magic Band which includes the line “Nothing bad can happen at Disney World“. The implication being that (1) nothing can happen with you’re wearing the iWatch and (2) wearing the iWatch will turn the real world into Disney World.

But that’s not what that sentence means. It means nothing bad is allowed to happen at Disney World. Maybe that’s desirable; maybe that’s creepy.

Living (as a guest) at Disney World would be like living in a totalitarian state as a member of the elite. I am not the first person to have noticed this.

More kindly, living at Disney World would be like living as a celebrity. Stephen Fry’s answer to “what is it like to live as an A-list celebrity” is revealing:

I don’t consider myself A list but I know plenty who are. They are hedged in by lawyers, managers, stylists, publicity managers, agents, lawyers and hangers on.  They are incessantly finding freebies dangled in front of them.

This is the pre-ubicomp version of “as you walk down the street your phone notifies you that your favorite cafe is having 20% off for the next five minutes”.

But living as a celebrity might not be so great. There’s this, at the end of Fry’s answer:

Bill Goldman, the great screenwriter, said to me when I was pathetic enough to ask what Robert Redford was “really like” – ‘what would you be like if you hadn’t heard the word “no” for 30 years?’ Kapow!

Living at Disney World would be like being Robert Redford. That’s the dream of the iWatch. Never having to hear the word “no” ever again.

Published by bjkraal

I'm an Experience Designer from Brisbane, Australia. I use design to make better ways for people to work and play.

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