Apple are expected to announce some form of innovative new payment system tomorrow morning, but I think another company already has the jump on them for that: Disney.

If you’ve stayed in their Walt Disney World resort recently you’ll have encountered the Disney Magic Band, and the whole MyDisney+ experience.

Before you even get to the resort you receive your Magic Band, that you wear on your wrist the entire time you’re there. You get to pick your color, you get to buy cute ornaments and covers for it, and the whole thing is pretty reasonably ergonomically designed.

And inside is an NFC tag and a Bluetooth LE radio.

The band is your hotel room key, you simply hold your wrist up to the door lock and your room opens and allows you inside.

It’s your ticket into the park, combined with a fingerprint reader to ensure that the same person uses the same band each time. (Something they’ve done for a long time with their older RFID-style tickets.)

Rides can be booked in advance, under their Fastpass+ system, using a phone app. The band serves as your gateway into the special queue line for the ride, you just hold your wrist up to the reader at the gate and you go in when it turns green.

And your wrist allows you to make payments everywhere throughout the property, from food and drink concession stands throughout the parks, to Main Street USA souvenir shops, to the restaurants at Downtown Disney. Just hold your wrist to the reader at the checkout, and enter a PIN for security.

Wrist-mounted payments work, but Apple didn’t get there first, the mouse did.


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