Walt Disney World of Florida is apparently testing a new beverage validation system. These devices will be able to identify the cup or mug being used by a guest and whether or not the guest has purchased the right to fill that cup or mug with soda.
According to reports, Disney has teamed up with a company called ValidFill and is testing the new beverage dispensers at the End Zone Food Court at the All Star Sports Resort. The video above contains an overview from ValidFill of the technology it has to offer.
Now Disney is only in the testing phase for the dispensers with their installation only recently occurring. Undoubtedly, the two companies will work to tweak the system to eliminate any unnecessary concerns from guests while still protecting the assets of Disney.
In a nutshell, the beverage dispensers have the ability to identify the cup or mug through the use of a small embedded RFID (radio frequency Identification) tag. This way, the dispenser will know when the customer purchased the cup or mug and if it should be allowed to be filled with soda.
This interesting technology will likely go unnoticed by many who use the device, but will undoubtedly irk those who would attempt to cheat the system. Most prominently, this would apply to guests who use the beverage dispensers but have not paid for the right to do so. In this case, it is said the dispenser will supply plain water instead of the intended flavor of soda.
At the heart of the matter is likely Disney’s unlimited beverage mugs which have been sold at the resorts for years. Currently guests can purchase the mugs and have unlimited refills during the length of stay in which the mugs were purchased.
Unfortunately, untold numbers of guests were using mugs purchased on previous trips or even mugs not purchased at Disney, in effect stealing the soda. This new system will put an end to that practice.
Once purchased, the RFID embedded mugs will be entered into the system showing when the were purchased and how long they are good for. Apparently, disposable cups will also have the tags but be good for a much shorter time at the beverage center.