Dave & Busters, the popular restaurant and video game chain, is rolling out wearable RFID technology to all of its locations to replace its card swipe technology. The 84-unit chain began the rollout this month. The wearable devices will cost $10 and will replace the power cards used by customers to activate games. Each wearable device will come loaded with $5 worth of game chips.
“We view [RFID] as a relatively low risk proposition,” said Dolf Berle, Dave & Busters President and COO, during the company’s earnings call last week. “We are basically rolling it to the entire system. We think it will just be a more convenient way for people to access the games and activate the games then a power card itself.”
While the RFID solution will only address game access for now, the possibilities are endless. RFID bracelets are widely used in the concert industry, where they can be loaded with cash and used to purchase food and merchandise. Disney has invested heavily in its RFID-enabled MagicBand platform, which allows guests to enter theme parks and board rides and even pay for food at Disney resorts.
Last month RFID 24-7 reported that a team of researchers from Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University has discovered a way to process RFID tag signals with enough speed to make them suitable for use in games, physical interfaces and other interactive objects. The technique makes it possible to use RFID tags to sense movement or touch in near real-time. The low-cost tags could soon be incorporated into slider and rotary controls for games and toys, or for use in other applications that demand prompt response.
The new RFID solution will work on all of Dave & Busters games, including the Ghostbusters rollout scheduled for this year, and enhanced versions of the Star Wars Battle Pod and also Star Trek.