Wednesday, May 22, 2024

JOE KLEIMAN: Smarter tech ushers in a lasting effect

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, thousands of attractions around the world shifted their emphasis to technology-based mobile solutions for admissions and timed reservations, meal ordering, cashless transactions, and virtual queuing. This widespread implementation has shortened the amount of time it takes for the public to accept and anticipate digital solutions to what in the past have been human-based solutions.

Technology also plays a role in pandemic-era hygiene. In Long Beach, Aquarium of the Pacific’s touchscreens were recently transformed to interactive touchless screens that recognize hand movement. At Disney California Adventure, guests can web-sling on an interactive dark ride with Spider-Man. The hand gestures used in the ride’s gameplay also play another key factor: for a ride opened in the midst of a pandemic, there’s no trigger for guest after guest to squeeze.

COVID accelerated deployment, but, in many places, the tech had already been implemented. When I booked a trip to Las Vegas – I did it all on my phone in a single app. I reserved the room, bought show tickets, and made dinner reservations all through the app. When we arrive in Vegas, we’ll check in to our hotel with the app. The app will also act as our room key, and it will bring up QR codes to let us into the shows.

The resort is one of eleven in Vegas that use the same app. As we go through those properties, dine, shop, and visit their attractions, the app will allow us to charge expenses to our room. On the backend, it will also track our spending – an important application for any operator – and algorithms will make suggestions and provide discounts based on our experiences in real time.

Technology, though, is still just a tool. Creatives and dreamers continue to do what they always have – use it to take guests in new and unexpected directions. Where will they take it next?

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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