September's Tech Round Up

The stories making the headlines this September are all about hybrid experiences – so what’s the impact on the attractions industry?
Ellen Wilkinson
September 2021

September is famously one of the biggest month’s for tech releases and this year has been no different. From the launch of the iPhone 13 to wearable smart glasses and a whole host of AR solutions entering the market, there was plenty of stories for our team to get stuck into ahead of this month’s tech review. 

A key trend that we noticed this month, was a focus on the way in which technology impacts our physical experiences. Brands (and nations!) are developing solutions that help us live in the moment, whether that’s by enhancing our physical experiences with tech, or regulating our use of it to give us more time living in the offline world. In some cases, we’re even seeing technology changing our expectations of major events. Will the future A-list be made of social media superstars? Read tip four to find out!

Check out our team’s top five stories below: 

1. Rayban stories: the latest wearable tech 

advert for the new rayban stories smart glasses

Facebook has partnered with Rayban in a bid to conquer the wearable tech market and launched “Rayban Stories” last week. The smart glasses, which pair with the new Facebook View app, enable wearers to share stories and memories seamlessly with friends and social media followers on leading platforms, including: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, TikTok and Snapchat. 

Perfect for the TikTok generation, Facebook boasts that the glasses will allow wearers to record the world as they see it, without needing to fumble around for their phone in order to capture a great moment. 

Why this story made the round up?

We’ve written about consumers expecting hybrid experiences before and this latest launch from Facebook suggests the world’s tech giants feel the same. Social media has created a culture of experience sharing and many users already experience physical events ‘through the lens’ – just think about the last time you went to a concert, show or restaurant and how many people we’re focused on snapping the perfect pic, rather than on the experience itself. 

Read the full story here

2. Move over fingerprints; it’s time for palm recognition

use your palm as a ticket for events and concerts

This week Amazon announced that it plans to trial new palm swiping technology at concert venues across the US as a means of enabling secure, contact-free access to popular, crowded venues. The online giant already utilises palm recognition across many of its physical retail stores, where shoppers simply wave their hands to pay for groceries and other items. 

AXS chief executive Bryan Perez said other venues plan to add the technology in the near future, stating that helps guests get to their seat faster than using a physical ticket.  

Why this story made the round-up:
We’re really interested in the roll out of Amazon’s palm recognition technology and how it performs within an entertainment setting, given the obvious applications for attractions. Who knows, perhaps in the not so distant future we’ll be able to combine touch recognition with our digital ticketing solution as an alternative to physical tickets. Until then, we’ll continue to delight guests with our seamless in-app ticketing experience. 

Read the full story here.

3. Should we limit online gaming time for children?

Chinese authorities have banned video gaming

This month, Chinese authorities took the controversial step to restrict online game playing for children to an hour a day amid widespread concerns that gaming is having a detrimental effect on children’s health.

Going forward, online gamers under the age of 18 will only be allowed to play for an hour on Fridays, weekends and holidays, China's video game regulator has said. Tech firms are using facial recognition tools to comply with the new regulations and those found to not be doing enough, could be fined.

Why this story made the round up?

The debate over children’s use of technology has always been fierce but arguments aside, we hope that the new regulations will at least encourage young people to make the most of their physical experiences and focus on making memories with their family and friends (hopefully by exploring some local visitor attractions in the process!). 

Yet, we also believe that online experiences can actually enhance our real-life experiences and gamification has been proven to have powerful benefits for children when learning new skills, like languages and mathematics. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese determine which games meet the ban’s criteria.  

Read the full story here

4. TikTokkers’ steal the show at fashion week

TikTok stars took the best seats at LFW this year

The famous ‘FROW’ or front row of London fashion week looked very different this year and if you’re not a fan of the social media platform TikTok it’s unlikely you’ll know who any of them are! Typically dominated by celebrities, super models and socialites, it’s famously difficult to make cut – unless you’re an influencer that is. 

This year, a young generation of social media starlets, famed for their 15-second videos and at home-content also joined the ranks, demonstrating just how powerful Gen-Z’s influencer culture is. 

Why this story made the round up?

This isn’t a story we’d usually comment on for our tech-round ups, but frankly, we’re fascinated by the power social media influencers have over some of the worlds biggest brands. 4 in 5 US consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of viewing influencer content and 89% of consumers say that viewing influencer content makes them more likely to spend, so it’s no surprise that the world of high fashion is taking note.

But how does this apply to attractions? The experience economy has its own influencers, just look at Youtube Channel Theme Park Review, which has over 1.7 million followers! Yet it’s rare to see attractions marketers using influencers to drive sales. Time to explore the benefits? We think so!

Read the full story here.

5. Delivery robots: the next step in the evolution of food ordering?

A robot could now deliver your food to you!

A mobile food ordering service called Order SEA — that could even include gate delivery by a robot named Gita — was introduced earlier this summer and is expanding to include more eateries. The goal is to help travellers avoid standing in lines and expand the options for dining. Since the soft launch of Order SEA, more than 1,200 orders have been placed, including over 500 for gate delivery, Sea-Tac said in a news release Thursday.

Why this story made the round up?

Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho called waiting in line “the least fun and most stressful part of any trip” and said technology can make the airport experience a better one. And we couldn’t agree more! 

Over the years we’ve conducted surveys with hundred of guests at visitor attractions and queuing is consistently voted the number one source of friction in the guest experience. Plus, a higher activity time or ride count corresponds to a higher level of guest satisfaction. So if reducing queue time means more time to explore and ultimately more rides – operators need to do all they can.

Read the full story here


Article | 5 Minute Read

Are physical experiences under threat from digital alternatives?

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Article | 5 Minute Read

Are physical experiences under threat from digital alternatives?

Learn more

Ellen Wilkinson

Content specialist, zoo enthusiast and french bulldog [s]mother
September 2021

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