Digital rings, Disney and New Urbanism

The title implies more mean than this blog post will have in it, but in my research on digital rings, I discovered an amusing factoid: the first people to have worn digital jewelry on a regular basis are the children of the public schools in Celebration, Florida, the New Urbanist Disney planned community.

In this article, from 1999. Here are some interesting pieces:

Residents like to call Celebration a "perfect town," but even perfection needs security. That need has led to use of access control at Celebration School, a K-12 county-run institution.


All 930 students move freely around the campus through locked doors using a new system of Java-enabled Schlage Primus industrial door locks, modified by Lares Technology Inc., San Antonio, Texas, to work with the Java computer application. Each student is issued a Java Ring, built by Dallas Semiconductor, Dallas.


Celebration conducted the initial trial for the system when they equipped 100 middle school students with the iButton in a Java Ring, said Mori. "We wanted to see if the rings were of benefit to students. Now, it's a wearable accessory for the kids. We found that for some kids the rings work very well, but some wanted a key fob or a watch. In the beginning everyone was given a ring, but now they have the option of purchasing a watch or a key fob.

Without reading too much into suburban perfection requiring an incredibly technologically sophisticated security and monitoring system, it's interesting that the first sizable deployment of smart jewelry will have turned out to be for a bunch of 13 year-olds in a Disney planned community.

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This page contains a single entry by Mike Kuniavsky published on January 19, 2008 11:11 AM.

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