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RFID tags let you share waterpark photos on Facebook without leaving the lazy river

Amar Toor, @amartoo

See this happy couple? They're smiling because they're in love, they're at a waterpark, and they haven't contracted E. coli yet. They could also be chuckling with the knowledge that all 700 of their closest Facebook friends will soon see them canoodling in an artificial lagoon, thanks to a strange new photo-sharing program from Great Wolf Resorts. From now on, visitors to Great Wolf's Grand Mound lodge will be able to automatically post their vacation pics on Facebook, using only an RFID-equipped wristband. All they have to do is register their accounts at check-in, slap on their bands and head over to any of five kiosks stationed throughout the resort, where they can pose for pictures that will be instantly uploaded to their walls (along with captions). Immediately de-tagging yourself, however, remains a uniquely manual task. Wade past the break for the full PR.

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Great Wolf Lodge Debuts Social Media First For Waterpark Industry

Great Wolf Connect allows direct Facebook photo sharing through RFID technology

GRAND MOUND, Wash., June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Great Wolf Resorts® (NASDAQ: WOLF), North America's largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, is debuting a new technology that's a social media first for the industry. Great Wolf Connect, launching first at Great Wolf Lodge® - Grand Mound, allows guests to link the radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology in their waterpark wristbands with their Facebook accounts to automatically share photos from photo-friendly Paw Posts throughout the resort.

This new use of RFID technology will allow guests to have photos taken, which are then automatically posted to their Facebook page throughout their visit. Capturing this instant "wish you were here" moment was a challenge in the past with guests not bringing the necessary technology into the waterpark.

"Family vacations are what memories are made of, with photos lining the fronts of refrigerators and pages of albums for years," said Steve Shattuck, Corporate Director of Communications at Great Wolf Resorts. "Today, our guests use Facebook as both a virtual post card and a photo album. With technology we already had in place, we were able to make sharing one step easier."

Built by Fish Technologies, Great Wolf Connect uses the RFID technology imbedded in the waterpark's wristbands, which also serve as guests' room keys and in-house charge accounts. After check-in, guests can register their wristband at the Great Wolf Connect kiosks and link it directly to their Facebook account. Then, at five Paw Posts located throughout the resort, guests simply scan their wristband and smile for the digital camera at each spot. That photo - or a general photo of each attraction - and a caption are then automatically posted on the guests' Facebook wall.

"Guests have been asking us for photo sharing functionality for quite some time. Great Wolf Connect allows us to expand our technology infrastructure in a way that enhances their stay," said Great Wolf Chief Information Officer Rajiv Castellino. "In Grand Mound, we've already seen our guests embrace this new experience. And as guests see others capturing memories at the Paw Posts, they're trying it out for themselves, too."

The Paw Post locations include the most popular photo opportunities throughout the resort, including the resort's signature Tipping Bucket as well as a full view of the of the waterpark from an elevated balcony inside the waterpark, the Great Clock Tower in the lobby, the statue of Sprinkles the Bear outside Bear Paw Sweets & Eats(TM), and Pixi's Perch, part of the MagiQuest® game.

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