From Disney to Tulips: iBeacon and the Future of Attractions

ibeacon-attractionsWith tens of millions of dollars of investment and the Disney Empire behind it, the MagicBand has redefined how a place-based experience can be…well, magical:

disney-magicbandIt’s a unique system that uses a sensor laden wristband to enhance the entire spectrum of their Disney experience from trip planning, ticketing and access to payment and photo management.

The entire Disney guest experience is now able to be centralized into one CRM tool. Guests are able to use it as a room key for their resort room, pay for items in the park, act as a park pass, get them in the fast lane with FastPass and collect all their photos during their stay.

It not only enhances the guest experience but also improves efficiencies for Disney and in theory, revenue.

The Magic Kingdom is a reminder that the world of iBeacon technology won’t be limited to the devices you place on the wall.

We are all, after all, beacons on the Internet of Everything – and Bluetooth LE will facilitate everything from ‘push’ content and coupons to payments and concierge services.

But it doesn’t take a global mega brand and gazillions of dollars to enrich a place-based experience.

And the proof is in tulips.

Labwerk iBeacon Platform at Tulpenland

ibeacon-tulpenlandIf you don’t know Labwerk you should.

We’ve been following the world of iBeacon and location-based technology for a while now and they’re in a class of their own. In fact, if anyone can do Disney better than Disney it will be Labwerk (and at probably 1/100,000th of the cost!).

Today they announced a deal to bring iBeacon to Tulpenland, a tulip-focused theme park that attracts visitors from around the world.

As readers of this blog know, Bluetooth LE is powering a new generation of devices (including iBeacon) that allows phones of all types to receive content, coupons or offers based on proximity: you stand near the chip aisle and receive a special offer, or you get a welcome message when you walk in the front door of Macy’s.

But what we love most about the Tulpenland example is the focus on storytelling:

“We’re looking forward to implementing this new way of sharing the story of the tulip. We see iBeacon technology as a great way to engage with our visitors, particularly those of a younger age, who can be quite difficult to connect with”.

With iBeacon technology, visitors will be able to access greater information in more formats. “We have always been limited by the type and amount of information that currently accompanies our displays. With the LabWerk app we will be able to offer this content in a more engaging way” van de Hoek said. “We’re looking forward incorporating the use of video, audio and adding further depth to our information for those visitors who would like to know the story of the tulip in more detail”.

In a world of connected devices the coupon will count – but stories will be magical. And it won’t take a trip to Disney to experience them…or might trigger a trip to North Holland instead.

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7 Responses to “From Disney to Tulips: iBeacon and the Future of Attractions”

  1. Great post Doug, as always. Its really interesting to see how Fluwel’s Tulpenland recently adopted iBeacon technology to helps visitors navigate through the park by directing them to other interactive locations. In fact when it comes to navigation, beacons are the best solution that theme parks and zoos can rely on. For example, with access to real-time statistics, you can use beacons to recognize hotspots and alerts security staff about locations that are overcrowded and more prone to security breaches. We have discussed 7 other ways in which beacons can help transform visitor experience in theme parks here: http://blog.beaconstac.com/how-beacons-can-help-transform-visitor-experience-at-zoos-and-theme-parks/

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  2. Vaishnavi Nair

    This is a great article regarding ibeacon technology and how it can enhance the amusement park going experience Doug. Well, for starters, ibeacon technology allows for a large influx of data as to the areas of the park most visited by the guests, The attractions/rides used most often, High risk areas of the park and also definitely not limited to the areas of the park that can get really tough to navigate once crowds start increasing in number. Of course, it is imperative to note that the aforementioned applications are but a tiny drop in the ocean of possibilities that the park management can use the technology for. It really is all up to the imagination and as to what happens next, well the management can then use the data that they’ve received through the mobile application, analyze it and strategically modify the park infrastructure accordingly. Here is an amazing article from parks management perspective with respect to beacons and theme parks in specific : http://bfonics.com/bfonicscms/business/transform-amusement-parks-using-beacons/

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