Skip to main content

Apple Watch as MagicBand for the real world

That feature — the same killer feature the Apple Watch promises — is what makes it so compelling. Like the MagicBand, in many ways the Apple Watch won't just offer an easier experience, it will offer a better one. Yet where the Apple Watch has faced fear-mongering and sensationalism in the mainstream media for mostly made-up concerns, the MagicBand, despite its tracking and personal information projection, has been almost universally praised. M.G. Siegler points out the cognitive dissonance on his, 500 Words, but this is the part that caught my attention:

Here's the other thing: the Apple Watch, if successful, will be the MagicBand for the real world. It will offer up everything the MagicBand can inside Disney World, but in many other places in the real world. And so much more.

The Apple Watch could, with better privacy and security protections, turn any venue that implements it into a more convenient, more compelling experience. (Siegler also points out the long history of close ties between Disney and Apple and wonders out loud at the potential of a MagicBand app for the Apple Watch — perhaps post-NFC API?).

I'm sure mainstream media will come around just as soon as their metrics tell them positive Apple Watch headlines will get more clicks. I'm not sure how many of us will notice or care, though. We'll be too busy enjoying our Apple Watches. Maybe even at Disney.

Rene Ritchie
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

13 Comments
  • The magicbands at Disney aren't too bad. But what if they also offered a gold magicband that didn't do anything more than the regular one for around 10k? Sure, it'd be useless when you left the park, but don't let that stop you. We'll smile more at you too. Blame Apple for going so extreme that it distorts the message of what a wonderful world the Watch may be.
  • If you are willing to take 30 seconds to make a negative and useless comment, why aren't you willing to take 5 seconds and Google the price of other 18k gold watches? Sent from the iMore App
  • It's not negative. I agree with Rene that there's so much potential with the watch. I'm buying one. My wife is getting one. All I said was that the pricing and edition watch has gotten in the way of what the media puts out. I've no doubt that this will change over time after the watch launches.
  • Fair enough. Which of the 18k gold watches, on sale today, will work in 50 years? Sent from the iMore App
  • The way I see it sure Apple did go a bit crazy on the "edition" series but there are people out there that would buy it because of the "status" or not wear anything on their wrists unless its gold. This is really targeted for those people, those people that would pay for that luxury, great thing about this is that you have a choice, if you don't like gold and or the price, don't buy it! They have plenty of other choices that covers wide range of prices. Sent from the iMore App
  • The media is distorting the message. We'll see if the strategy works, but the intersection of fashion and the rich is why the Edition is so expensive. Belive it or not, the elite (some, not all) wouldn't be interested in a sub-$1000 watch. Watches can cost thousands to $250k and more. I am not saying that it makes sense but that's why.
  • With less than one week to go before my alarm goes off at 3:00 am (EST) I couldn't be more excited. Well, other than maybe on 4/24 when the FedEx guy/ gal rings my doorbell. ;) Sent from the iMore App
  • Picking mine up at the store. FedEx will tell you one day for delivery and then bring it to your house 3 days later . That's an overnight delivery they screwed up..... I'd rather just go to the store where I'll know it's safe and on time Sent from the iMore App
  • One week ago, my family and I were on the tail end of a vacation at Walt Disney World. I at some point turned to my wife (whose birthday is at the end of April and already has her eye on an Apple Watch - yes I am also counting down until next week to book an appt. so she can figure out which one) and I commented on how I could see the Apple Watch link into the MagicBand system. If you look closely at the hardware Cast Members are using to interact with your MagicBands and update MyDisneyExperience, it is all Apple. iPads and iPhones are everywhere. So it seems like a natural extension. (Plus the Apple Watch has that Mickey watch face to boot). Personally I also cannot wait to get my own Apple Watch. I hope this device is a evolutionary as it seems. Time will tell.
  • I would love for my watch to do something super cool at Disney parks. I know in some areas now if you have a certain necklace it will do something cool at the Tarzan tree. How about at the stores too? I cannot wait to get my watch and see what the developers will do in time.
  • What does this article have to do with the Edition watch? Stay on topic please.
  • Read the article again? Rene wondered why the media is being negative on the Apple Watch while Disney's magicband is perceived as awesome. Last I checked, the Edition is an apple watch.
  • We leave for our first Magic Band Disney trip in 3 weeks. We are already super excited about this trip, even though it is far from our first trip to Disney. This morning as I took out my credit card to pay for groceries (the main store I go to is a local chain that hasn't moved forward on technology in a while), my wife said, "We need magic bands for life" I said "Maybe the Watch!" She knew what I meant right away. While I will be waiting until Apple Watch 2 or 3, we will be getting them