05 June 2011

The Use of Technology to Create a Compelling Personalized Experience in a Group Environment - SATE '11 Orlando panel discussion

The Use of Technology to Create a Compelling Personalized Experience in a Group Environment
Emerging technologies have given us new tools and terminology, such as iPhones, apps, geo-location and augmented reality. But along with these new technologies comes a challenge to themed entertainment designers - how can we use these technologies to tailor an experience to an individual user and still be able to move guests through a facility with a compelling story? These technologies also have the potential to augment the existing story and re-energize an existing facility if done correctly. However, without proper consideration, they can serve as a tremendous distraction from the design team's intentions.

This panel will look at how technology can be used to improve the guest's experience. We will approach the question from the theoretical (How do different groups of people use technology together?) to practical applications in an existing facility (How do personalized applications improve an existing experience?) to the storyteller's perspective on technology (What tools exist to augment the story and bring together a cohesive experience?) Along the way, we will look at case studies to see how technology is being implemented in theme parks, museums and branded experiences. In the end, we will hopefully have a better understanding of technology's role in the themed environment: Is technology a threat to the experience or is it an opportunity to tell a better story?

Confirmed panelists:
DAVID COBB, Creative Director, Thinkwell Group
RICK BOROVOY, MIT Media Lab
Mark Gilicinski, Mobile Xpeditions, LLC

Panel producers: Steve Birket, Jeremy Scheinberg