Tech Talk: Disney 

So there are many companies that come to mind when I think of Tech companies. Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft to name a few. What I don’t typically think of is Disney.

Since becoming an Annual Pass Holder, I have been able to witness more Disney tech recently than I have in the past. For a look at some of the tech being used outside the parks, see my article here.  Let me start by saying that the MagicBands are absolutely genius! They function wonderfully.

  
Image credit goes to Disney. No challenge of ownership is implied.

These bands house RFID tech and function as your keys to the park. They act as your ticket, by scanning at the gate, and a using a fingerprint to authenticate your identify. This is really cool, especially when used by gate staff to add to the magical experience of visiting Disney. As Claire scanned her band, a staff member looked at their reader, took note of her name and said “Welcome Claire!” as we entered. That alone could have made Claire’s day! 

They also function as your FastPass allowing you to cut the line for certain rides provided you signed up to receive a FastPass from that ride. It used to be that a FastPass was an extra slip of paper that you would have to keep track of and sometimes would lose. 

If paired with a credit card, the band can also be used for paying in the parks. This uses much of the same technology that Apple Pay uses. 

I think one of the coolest applications for the Bands is using them for a photo pass. Throughout the park are photographers taking pictures of guests. If I equipped they will scan a card with a QR code. When ready the pictures can be previewed and purchased at a store or can be viewed through the Disney Park app. As previously stated, I lose things, and this card is just something else to lose track of in the park. The band can be scanned and used as the photo pass. Brilliant.

That last application is that if styling on property the band can be used as a room key for your hotel room. I love Disney’s commitment to making a wearable device with so many applications! 

Please let me know what you think of the MagicBands! Leave a comment below, and check me out on TwitterFacebook, Periscope @dadthegeekblog and YouTube at DadtheGeek.

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Long Time No Post!

Wow have we been busy! It has been forever since I have posted anything. Baby Simon continues to grow. A,and a is currently 26 weeks pregnant. For those who don’t know or don’t want to do the math, that means that Simon will be born in approximately 14 weeks.

I have been going a little nuts recently because it was the end of the term. That means exams, tons of stress and anxiety to make sure that all of the grades are correct before submission. I have found that the best way to stop this anxiety has been to have a massage, particularly on the day after I have submitted grades. This has worked beautifully for me this term. Absolutely no stress yesterday or today.

A/C One of the essentials in Florida is Air Conditioning. We have been on the list of a contractor to have our A/C unit checked out. Last summer the unit couldn’t keep up and ran throughout the day causing HUGE power bills. He finally came out and checked everything out. His recommendation is to completely replace our A/C system. So after many discussions and decisions we are having system replaced next Wednesday. Of course I am not letting this opportunity to pass us by! We are going to be installing a Nest thermostat which can be controlled through an app. It is also supposed to be able to learn and manage the power for lowered electric bills.

What major repair have you had recently? How have you made it geeky or put your own spin on it? Comment in the space below. Also be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

This Christmas We Were INVADED!!

This Christmas my house was invaded…not by killer zombies, or aliens, hostile army’s or in-laws (whom I love!). We have been invaded by none other than a classic sci-fi antagonist…ROBOTS. Not just any robots, but a robot so keen on helping humankind, that it has taken upon itself the monumental task of vacuuming my household. This is no easy feat. As you may have read on my About Page I have 2 dogs.

As you might have guessed from this opening, my family received a Roomba for Christmas. It is very cool and I must say entertaining. We ran it for the first time on Boxing Day (for those Americas who don’t know that is Dec. 26th. (Which I didn’t know until I started dating my wife)). One of my quirks is that I will often make jokes to my wife by narrating an event, or taking on the voice of something else. This device proved to be one of the funniest things to narrate in quite some time. It is constantly trying to map out the area so it is constantly running into things. It also has a way of depositing some objects which it cannot pick up which is also humorous.

As for performance, the little thing seems to be doing a very good job! As I mentioned I have two dogs…who shed. A LOT!! I am talking when we sweep or vacuum there is enough hair on the floor to create another dog…and I am not talking about a small dog either, I am talking a 50-70 lb extra dog. From what I can tell this thing only missed two balls of fur on its first pass. And by the contents of the bin I am thoroughly impressed with what it can do.

My wife insisted that we name it. So thinking on my feet I suggested the name “Moe” after the cleaning robot on Wall-E.

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This robot is called M-O short for Microbial Oblitorator. I figured it would be an appropriate name for any cleaning robot.

I am sure I will be posting about it more later. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Holiday Season. What’s was your favorite geeky gift that you either gave or received? Leave a comment below! Also be sure to LIKE me on Facebook and FOLLOW me on Twitter. And for anyone who didn’t see this…MERRY CHRISTMAS!

September 9, 2014: Day of the Tech Geek!

Tuesday last week was a big day in the tech geek world. Bungie, the video game company behind Xbox’s giant series Halo, launched their new cross platform game Destiny. In a previous post I mentioned that I had reserved a Special Edition Glacier White Playstation Bundle (check out that post here). The other big news is that Apple announced its new iPhone 6 and the accompanying Apple Watch….all I can say is that I want both of these devices!

Destiny has been an excellent ride so far. Currently I have played in areas on Earth, the Moon, and Venus. Destiny boasts four different forms of gameplay. There are missions that further the story, patrols which are open ended, strikes which pair players up over the internet to take on a particular mission of increased difficulty, and the PvP area they are calling the Crucible.

I have seen a couple of reviews online that describe the story to be lacking. The biggest thing that I thing could benefit the game is more cut speeches describing what is happening. When your character is first revived, your guide (a device called a ghost) tells you that you have been dead a long time and that you will see many things that do not make sense…many of these things can and in some cases are explained by cut scenes…I just think that there could be a little more story covered in these, or have a few more of them.

Players can choose one of three classes for their character to belong to. The Titan is usually on the front lines shooting and using different Melee attacks. The Hunter is the sniper and quick ninja-like players; focus here is on agility, either bringing the enemy down from afar and quickly moving on, or moving in for a quick silent kill. The Warlock has the power to buff members of your team as well as have some great powers for use against enemies.

I am going to write a full review once I have completed the full story.

Is there anything geeky that you are excited about? Be sure the leave me a comment down below. Also like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

Console Wars: Playstation 4 vs Xbox One

So here is the story: I have stayed away from video game consoles for some time. The most current form that I own is an Xbox…an original Xbox. My parents bought a Wii when I was in college so I only played when I came home from college.

This never stopped me from having an opinion. I always enjoyed the Halo series so that was a mark for Xbox. I also disliked the Playstation controller. I was used it playing Gameboy, Nintendo, and Sega consoles where buttons were always referenced with letters, not shapes.

These two points were the entire basis of my loyalty to Xbox. I looked forward to purchasing an Xbox One, mainly because of previous loyalty, and the cool things that it was able to do with the Kinect. I have been looking forward to having an automated home system, and the Xbox One seemed to be a step in that direction.

Fast forward to E3. Destiny was the game that really caught my attention and became the game that I believed would bring me to purchase a new generation console. I couldn’t wait to play it on an Xbox One.

This is where things seemed to go off the rails. I recently found out that the developers will be granting more benefits and bonuses to Playstation. To top things off the people that I would play the game with already have PS4s.

After much thinking and some research I consulted the ultimate authority on games and toys in our house…Claire. I asked her if we should get an Xbox or a Playstation. She may have only heard the word “play” but the response “Playstation,” was almost instant.

So long story short, I have reserved a PS4 and a copy of Destiny for pickup on Tuesday when the game releases.

Is anyone else excited for Destiny? Or do you have another favorite video game? Leave me a comment in the section below! Also be sure to like me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.