Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Tech of Disney (part 3)

Last time I was speaking about the roving photographers that use Sony UPC (ultraportable computers). When I bumped into Rick, I noticed that he didn't have a Sony on his belt attached to his digital camera. Instead, I saw that Rick's camera was attached to a PocketPC built by Symbol. I asked Rick and about this and he mentioned that the Disney employees have only been using these rigs for about a month. I figured that Lance had the better setup with the Sony UPC, but Rick disagreed. He indicated that the Sony stored images on the hard drive, but the Symbol PocketPC had software that automatically sent the digital images to the Disney server via WiFi IMMEDIATELY! More after the Read More jump.

Rick showed me how this worked by taking a picture of my son Tyler. We watched the camera and PocketPC to see the number of pictures taken & stored increase by one and then immediately decrease by one. Rick told me that our picture was all ready for viewing on the internet, in fact! The way that Disney associates the pictures with an account is interesting as well.

Rick provided Tyler with a small plastic card, similar to a credit card. This was Tyler's unique "Disney PhotoPass". On the photopass was an ID as well as a barcode. Prior to taking Tyler's picture, Rick used the PocketPC to scan the barcode on the photopass. This associated Rick's next pictures with Tyler's new account.

When we got back to our room, I immediately went to the Disney PhotoPass site and saw all of the pictures that Disney took of Tyler. You just provide your PhotoPass to the Disney photographer whenever you have a picture taken.

This solution is great use of technology and is a win-win for both Disney and the consumer. Disney has an easy way to maintain (and market) the pictures, while the consumer has the ability to review the pictures for 30 days before purchasing prints.

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