More Phone-Based Virtual Queue Solutions

Tuesday, January 8, 2008 2:52 PM
^You basically expanded on the point I was trying to make, lol. You can only stretch virtual queuing and all of these little devices and services until you eventually spend more time setting up the ride, learning how to use everything and thinking about the planning then you would if you went and stood in line and rode said ride.

*** Edited 1/8/2008 7:57:24 PM UTC by P18***

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008 3:26 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Oh god, I begat the rise of the technophobes! ;)


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Tuesday, January 8, 2008 4:53 PM
Like I said, I'm not against techonology per se, just against technology that doesn't really improve anything. (Now I have to worry about getting hit head-on by a driver who was typing on their phone!)

Would this system really make for a better experience than what exists now? The theatre and the restaurant make money from the ticket sales and the reservations, but how would a park make money on this system?

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008 5:18 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
The theatre and the restaurant make money from the ticket sales and the reservations, but how would a park make money on this system?

If I had detailed answers, I'd be a rich man, but in a nutshell I see it this way:

Parks make money from VQ systems.

Theatres, restaraunts, etc would make money from this visual recognition thing. (we're assuming)

Therefore, parks should be able to make money by offering a VQ system via the visual recognition thing.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 1:56 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar So I did see a short video of Bill demonstrating this idea today.

It's true recognition, not some trick with wireless info or something. The technology recognizes what it's looking at.

The examples given seem to be mostly commercial things (duh) - not only things like buying theatre tickets with your phone by simply pointing it at the building but also delivering info. For example, pointing at the theatre would give you a list of movies and their showtimes and offer the option to buy tickets.

Point at a retail store and get a list of sale items or coupons and even purchase from from the store via the phone.

It just seems like it'd translate so well to parks. Hell, even make it fun. Point at a coaster and you get a list of facts about the ride, the current wait time and the option to reserve a spot in the VQ. Point at a theatre in the park and get info on the show there and showtimes. Point at a restaurant in a park and get coupons.

(aren't I pretty much describing what Disney tried to do with My Pal Mickey to an extent?)

I dunno, I find the concept pretty exciting and totally see how you could draw parallels between the real-world examples demonstrated and similar ideas inside the parks. Like I said, the very first thing that popped into my head when I first saw the visual recognition thing was this cell phone discussion.


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 11:23 AM
rollergator's avatar ^I think you're just ahead of your time...but society will eventually catch up, LOL.

I've got some ideas about how parks could make money off of this kind of technology implementation, but they're kind of shadowy right now and I'll have to take some time to flesh them out adequately.... ;)

One of the "starting points" involves the same concepts as the American Idol voting and the ringtone services - not a Qbot rental situation, more of a pay-per-use type of idea... :)

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 11:37 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, I like that idea. It's floated in and out of my consciousness over the course of these discussions and I think you're on to something. It seems like the best approach.

No signing up, no fee to buy into the system, none of hassle. Just pay-per-VQ.

I like it. :)


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 11:51 AM
I ususally find a way around all these *LONG LINES* and convineince BS by simply planning wisely thusly providing myself with way more enjoyment and far less cost.

Chuck

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 12:05 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I think most of us do, Chuck.

This is for those that don't. :)


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 1:12 PM
Vater's avatar *Chuckle*

Why do I keep envisioning a kid showing his granddad his computer and all the neat stuff it does, and the granddad irritatedly grunts and says "In my day all we needed were paper, a pencil, and imagination...harumph!"


RatherGoodBear said:
Not against technology, but once upon a time technology was used to solve problems and make a difficult task easier (don't drag your clothes outside and hang them on the line all day in the wintertime, use this thing called a clothes dryer).

Right, but with any new technology there's always some amount of learning involved. Taking your analogy, the folks who were used to hanging their clothes on a line had to figure out what the little dials do on a dryer.


Nowadays it seems technology is taking simple tasks (that may seem mundane) and making them more glitzy, but more complicated and more expensive (hey hon, look, I just bought this Microsoft device and with the low monthly subcription price and 27 steps later, I can make reservations at a restaurant). Yeehaw!

I've found that the technologies that catch on and accepted by the masses are the ones that are user-friendly and have a small learning curve. The ones that are too complex either die or get improved upon over time. Every software-based product always has software updates that address the millions of bugs and improve upon the features that the initial release had.

I really like the concepts discussed in this thread. I used to be dead-set against systems like Qbot, but after trying it out a couple years ago I...saw the light, I guess.

*** Edited 1/9/2008 6:14:03 PM UTC by Vater***

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 2:09 PM
To compare the capabilities of pencil and paper vs. a computer is a no-brainer. Sure, it took time to learn how to use a clothes dryer-- and a washer too. But it was pretty obvious to people how much more convenient and time-saving they'd be compared to using a wringer washer, wash tubs, and clotheslines.

The systems being described here are cool and different to be sure, but I haven't been convinced that they're any better or more efficient than what's out there already. I don't see how pointing at a building with my cell phone to make a dinner reservation is more efficient than using a computer or even a phone to do the same thing.

Again, the visual recognition idea needs more explanation than was given here, but I'm understanding it that you need to be within a certain physical proximity to the structure you're pointing to. So if I'm visiting a city and want to dine at a restaurant on the other side of town, would I need to drive there and point my phone at said restaurant to make a reservation? Then drive back several hours later to actually have dinner. If that's the case, how is that more efficient than using a phone? How is it better for anyone other than a Microsoft shareholder?

In the case of parks, thanks gator, for providing the answer I was edging toward. To use this service, you'd probably be charged by your cell phone provider, thus involving yet another party in in-park transactions. (Yes I know many transactions involve credit/debit cards, but at least some still involve cash.) I suppose you could be charged per point or just get unlimited pointing for a given amount added to your monthly bill.

Point at a theatre in a park to get show times? This would be for those people too f****** lazy to walk up to the sign in front of the place to read it themselves? Or to pull the park map out of their back pocket? Of course, many parks would be glad to charge you $9.95 per point to tell you what they used to put on maps they handed out for free at the gate. Yay for new technology! Bring it on!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 2:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
The systems being described here are cool and different to be sure, but I haven't been convinced that they're any better or more efficient than what's out there already. I don't see how pointing at a building with my cell phone to make a dinner reservation is more efficient than using a computer or even a phone to do the same thing.

Again, the visual recognition idea needs more explanation than was given here, but I'm understanding it that you need to be within a certain physical proximity to the structure you're pointing to. So if I'm visiting a city and want to dine at a restaurant on the other side of town, would I need to drive there and point my phone at said restaurant to make a reservation? Then drive back several hours later to actually have dinner. If that's the case, how is that more efficient than using a phone? How is it better for anyone other than a Microsoft shareholder?


Because you're looking at it exactly backwards.

Rather than the example of being home, driving to the venue, and returning later - flip it.

You're already out. With friends. Everyone decides that after shopping (or whatever) dinner would be fun. There's 3 restaraunts on the street. Step out side the store and point to them. Now you know waits, menus and can make reservations. Beats trodding up and down the street asking questions. Heck, it's even quicker than phone calls. (for both the user and the restaurant)


Point at a theatre in a park to get show times? This would be for those people too f****** lazy to walk up to the sign in front of the place to read it themselves? Or to pull the park map out of their back pocket?

1. But if I'm at the other end of the midway and would prefer to remain there to ride if there's still time then a point down the midway saves me time and gets me an extra ride or two. Not to mention the crazy lines of sight you get at some parks with akward pathways working around rides. ("It's right there - how do we get to it?)

So yeah, I guess I've gotten too lazy (your words) to get everyone off the rides, drag them across the park and see what's up. I'd rather point my phone at it and let it tell me.

2. Sure there's maps, but the whole 'green' thing is outta control. Don't think for a second that in the future any resource that can be saved/conserved won't be. Takes a lot of trees to make the gazillion parks maps that just end up on the ground and in the parking lot. Depending on technology and where it goes - I'd say distributable info delivered on natural resources is probably the first to go - newspapers, magazines and stuff like that. (including park maps)

No reason we can't all access the info on our personal devices and save the world.


Yay for new technology! Bring it on!

Sarcasm aside, I agree. I still marvel at some of the things that I take for granted now that were essentially sci-fi when I was a kid. I can't even imagine what my kids' generation will develop - they're growing up in my sci-fi world. What do people who live in a dream world dream of? :)


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Thursday, January 10, 2008 11:46 PM
^ Lord knows all those old computers and cell phones they would have us replace every six months to buy the newest gizmos are "green." No toxic materials or heavy metals getting dumped into landfills there.
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Friday, January 11, 2008 12:07 AM
^And the plastic that it takes to make all of this, it's like how bottled water is becoming a huge environmental problem...
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Monday, January 14, 2008 11:23 AM
I'm thinking this is the stupidist idea I may have ever come up with, but if you have a ride that is so popular, why not build two?

I know...cost...extreme cost and matience x2, but if they will both be running at capacity most of the time, why not? Also, if one goes down, there won't be disapointed people who made a long trip to be disapointed.

And, wouldn't this alos boost customer satisfaction, which in return would boost attendence and return guests?


gary b
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Monday, January 14, 2008 12:09 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar That's not an entirely unreasonable idea, I suppose. Extreme, maybe, but based in logic.

Here's my thing - basic supply and demand. If these rides have 2-hour waits, then clearly the demand for a ride is higher than the supply. All that says to me is that a ride is underpriced.

It really is the most basic concept of economy - like elementary level stuff.

If you have more customers than product you raise the price so the two meet at that magical equilibrium point where the balance between your supply and the customers demand are equal.


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Monday, January 14, 2008 12:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Sorry for the double-post but more to the original topic at hand, here's another example of similar technology becoming part of everyday lives.

From the linked article:


...a grocery cart-mounted console that helps shoppers find products in the store, then scan and pay for their items without waiting in the checkout line.

Customers with a store loyalty card will be able to log into a Web site at home and type in their grocery lists; when they get to the store and swipe their card on the MediaCart console, the list will appear. As shoppers scan their items and place them in their cart, the console gives a running price tally and checks items off the shopping list.

The system also uses radio-frequency identification to sense where the shopper's cart is in the store...the technology can also be used to send certain advertisements to people at certain points - an ad for 50 cents off Oreos, for example, when a shopper enters the cookie aisle.



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Monday, January 14, 2008 1:11 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Sorry again for the triple post, but I'm a friggin' prophet! :)

Disney Magic Connection

From the linked article:


Imagine that -- as you walked through a Disney theme park -- you could carry with you a wireless device that would:
  • Tell you in real time what the current wait time at your favorite attraction was
  • Also let you know whether there were any FastPasses left for that particular attraction
  • And when these FastPasses were available for
  • Show schedules
  • Parade routes
  • Interactive maps which reveal the location of rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, restrooms, etc.

Better yet, what if you could in-put a "wish list" of your favorite rides & shows into this hand-held unit, and it could then tell you the most time-efficient way to experience all of those attractions? Wouldn't that be amazing?

You wanna hear something that's even more amazing? Starting today and the next 10 days, the Imagineers will actually be field testing a device like the one I just described at Walt Disney World.

Should this test go well ... a full-blown version of "Disney Magic Connection" could be up and running at the WDW Resort by the Spring of 2009.


*** Edited 1/14/2008 7:17:57 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***


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Monday, January 14, 2008 2:11 PM
rollergator's avatar ^I'll be at Disney next weekend (my nieces' first trip to the Mouse House).

I'll try to do some reconnaisance and figure out whatever I can about this...might do even better if I weren't such a technophobe... ;)

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008 11:00 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar In my constant quest to cite examples of how mobile device use is permeating our lives, I offer this example:

Order from Pizza Hut using your mobile device.

Yes, they expect people with a phone in their hand not to dial and talk, but rather send a text to order. :)


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