Folks keep asking about MagicBands — those cool, new RFID wristbands Disney is still testing out at the parks — and what they are REALLY made from. The official word from Disney is that they’re “hypoallergenic.” But that doesn’t actually tell us what it’s made out of — it only tells us that it’s safe and relatively comfortable. So I flexed my research skills and went to find out.
The back of the MagicBand lists an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ID: Q3E-MB-R1G1. You can search for these things at the FCC.gov web site. And, lo and behold, I found 11 matches for it at the FCC.gov web site! These were all filed over a year ago by the company that makes the MagicBands, Synapse Product Development LCC in Seattle, WA. The cover letter says the following about the MagicBand:
“… completely overmolded with thermal plastic polyurethane.”
Aha! And there’s our answer. The exterior material of the MagicBand — the part you touch and feel against your wrist — is thermal plastic polyurethane, also known as TPU.
TPU is used in a LOT of things, and you probably have a lot of it in your house or even on yourself right now. It’s particularly popular in iPhone cases, for example. It’s also used in medical devices because it offers high elasticity and resilience, excellent abrasion resistance and high tensile and tear strength. And, yes, it’s hypoallergenic.
I should also note that TPU can be made from renewable resources, making them eco-friendly, though I do not know what goes into this particular TPU.
One could also call this is a synthetic rubber, because it’s composed of polymers.
And there you go! Now go impress your friends with your knowledge!
Have more MagicBand questions? Check out PassPorter’s dedicated “Disney Tech” forum where you can ask questions and get answers about MagicBands, FastPass+, MyMagic+, and MemoryMaker!