A Take on Tokens

WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
A (W.T2.F.) Sunday Series

Short Story Time

Andy hops out of the auto-shuttle with his friends and they stroll towards the the world’s first VR enhanced music festival.

Not only will he be able to see his favorite artists perform live, but equipped with VisionaRy gear, Andy will also see all sorts of virtual art installments and graphics specialized for each music artist.

Just as they enter the festival grounds, Andy and his peers notice another new addition to the festival experience: tokens. There’s no cash accepted at the venue. One of the festival volunteers explains that this will facilitate ease of purchase, will reduce waiting times, and vendor’s won’t have to worry about cash flow throughout the day.

“It’s your one stop token spot,” says the volunteer. “Insert your card here and select how many tokens you want. For example, water and soda is one token, regular drinks are two tokens and cocktails are 3 tokens! You can also pre-purchase any merch.,” says the volunteer.

Andy takes out his card to purchase tokens. It works brilliantly. He buys 20 for good measure (it’s an all day festival!) and also one merch. token to exchange for a shirt on his way out of the venue.

Throughout the day Andy notes the shorter lines at every stand. He doesn’t have to wait ages to get water, drinks, or anything!

At the end of the evening when Andy leaves with his friends, he goes to the merch. table, excited to grab his new souvenir shirt. He searches all his pockets but can’t find the merch. token.

“No problem,” says the merch. vendor, “pull up your email receipt and we can scan the barcode,” she says.

During the search process Andy also finds a few remaining tokens. He offers to buy his friends drinks, but he and everyone else is ready to go and have several tokens between them. They head back to the token dispensaries by the exit gates and drop the tokens in. As each token is scanned, it’s deactivated and Andy receives a receipt that notes his account has been reimbursed.

“Perfect,” says Andy, and his buddies nod in agreement. Like many ideas, the token solution is simple and makes a world of difference.

“So when’s our next VAR* festival?!” asks Andy’s friend.

They all agree it will be sooner rather than later. This festival was beyond anything he’d experienced before.

Until next time, he thinks with one last look with his VisionaRy gear before he turns them in.

A (W.T2.F.) Series

By @scifiannemarie

*WTF: Welcome to the Future

*VAR- virtual and augmented reality

This story was inspired by AGP Système who I was able to catch up with at the MaMA Festival and Convention in Paris last week. I learned that some festivals in Europe already use tokens. Not only do tokens reduce waiting time, allow more focus on customer service, reduce cash concerns, etc., they also allow for the collection of real time spending so merchants can see when and where money is being spent. 

Although I see a few kinks to be sorted out with the current system: no refunds for unused tokens and no solution for lost tokens, Andy’s experience is just one example of how tokens can ameliorate the festival experience for both the festival organizers and attendees.  

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