Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Theme Park Leash

Keep kids on a leash at amusement parks.
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

Give kids a self-powered radio frequency ID device to tie on their shoes when they enter an amusement park. Bury transponder loops all over the park and in turnstyles, food stands, shops, interactive info kiosks, etc.

Parents use the kiosks or optional (rented) wireless PDAs to wire their kids cash, authorize purchases, locate their position, or send messages "meet us at 7pm at the fountain".

The park uses the ID to track traffic patterns, greet kids by name when they approach Mickey, do cashless transactions billed to their folk's credit card, locate lost children, deny access to rides the parents find too scary, lock turnstyles if they attempt to leave with unauthorized strangers, do checkpoint/waypoint treasure hunt games to spread traffic out to slower areas, etc.

koz, Mar 03 2000

employee GPS http://www.halfbake...idea/Employee_20GPS
Workplace version. [egnor, Mar 03 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

(?) Microsoft patent http://www.theonion...crosoftpatents.html
It could happen to you. [Scott_D, Mar 03 2000, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       That's a really good idea...Have you sent this to Disney or someone? Have a 'panic' button for 'I'm lost and lonely' or something, if the parents don't show in a couple of minutes then a park person does...can have it personalize transactions with the characters using the user's name <Annoys me, but impresses kids>...I like this idea...
StarChaser, Mar 04 2000

       Well, that brings up a good point. Say disney comes up with a similar system now. Can this page be brought up as a 'prior art' claim on the concept? Does putting a marketable idea on a public web site constitute forfeiture of your idea, or a way to get it out in the public quickly so that it can't be designed and patented by someone else before you can?   

       I adore this website. There are a lot of great ideas here. But I'd really be saddened to see some VC weasel steal them all and give the thinkers nothing in return.
koz, Mar 06 2000

       Sad but true.... About a year ago, my Grandfather showed me a design for what is now known as a Black & Decker strimmer which he did in 1951! He showed it around a bit to various electronics companies, and is convinced that he was ripped of
redleader, Jul 17 2000

       Putting an idea here probably consists of "publishing" it, as far as patent law goes. I think that means you have one year from then to file for patent coverage, or it goes into the public domain. And, yes, it should count as prior art.   

       Still... ideas without implementation aren't generally very valuable (though they are a lot of fun). And for this idea it's quite moot -- the idea is pretty much baked.
egnor, Jul 17 2000

       Yeah, if it wasn't clear, this has been implemented in a few theme parks already, and Disney is apparently quite interested. I don't think they've developed all the services you imagine, but they do offer an easy way for parents to track their children (at special kiosks or something).   

       I tried to find a reference a while ago, but failed.
egnor, Aug 20 2000

       It had occured to me that in the unlikely event any of these ideas were to actually be developed by a third party, that it would fall, perhaps unfairly, on Jutta to prove any prior art claims. Perhaps bookworm might have some ideas in this area, maybe a patent pool, with Jutta recieving her cut: patent law is in an uproar over the net, maybe bookworm can make his name - in return, I'll stop making lawyer jokes. Jutta could, of course, protect herself with a discrete disclaimer and avoid any unpleasentness.   

       p.s. see the above link. If I get any more brilliant ideas in the interim, I'll just mail them to myself.
Scott_D, Aug 20 2000

       Erm, I don't think so.   

       I don't think I deserve a "cut" of ideas published here any more than a maker of wood pulp would for things printed on paper made from their fiber. Nor should the halfbakery be involved in securing prior art claims - dammit, Jim, I'm a programmer, not a lawyer.   

       I know of at least one institution which, for a small fee, will publish one's invention in a legally satisfactory way. There's a link to these people in the "links" section. If you're concerned about protecting your intellectual property from imitation, and you don't want to go through the hassles of getting an actual patent, that might be a good middle way.   

       Finally, disclaimers are mostly bogus. I hate having my time wasted and won't waste yours with stuff you don't read and that doesn't actually affect anyone's legal status. If you write something, it's copyright by you. If you publish an idea, you published it first. Whether or not this forum consitutes publishing, nobody will know until we've had a lawsuit about it.
jutta, Aug 20 2000

       I like the idea of the theme park leash, it sounds cool. There’s only one bug if find with it. What if pedophiles get a hold of it goes to one of the interactive info kiosks and finds where one of these "leashed children" are? They could find them, send a message, "meet me at the Whip, mom", and kidnap them? They could use conventional means, like sending them over a fence. The adults don't wear these, and the kidnapper could take it off the kid.   

       Now don't get me completely wrong, it's a great idea, just fix that bug
tustin, Sep 10 2003

       So give the parents a tag that is linked to the tags of their children. You would need to show/swipe the tag before gaining access to the kiosk.
koz, Sep 19 2003


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