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Why Disney World wants photos of your feet


The happiest place on Earth is taking the Big Brother concept one step further. Here’s how.

New technology designed by Disney will allow the park to track visitors by their feet

Soon there’ll be absolutely no place to hide in Disneyland. The theme park has obtained a patent for new technology that can track guests through their feet.

 

According to documents supplied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this is how the system works. Visitors place their feet on an ‘acquisition station’ equipped with a sensor that scans the foot, measures it, takes a photo and stores the info in a database.

 

 ‘Reacquisition stations’ would then be deployed on all rides around the park and will be used to let guests on and off each experience. Sounds straight forward enough however, each scan is much more than a simple foot photograph.

 

“The foot model is tagged with guest data,” Disney wrote in its patent application.

 

“The guest data may include various types of information such as name, hometown, residential town, favorite amusement park ride, favorite character, names of family members, favorite food and so on.”

 

The system could also be used to mine data about common paths between each ride and tailor guest experiences. It would allow Disney characters and employees to approach a guest by name and provide specific information according to each person’s interests. It could also automatically send a photo or video of that guest’s experiences directly to a personal email address. 

A diagram of Walk Disney Co.'s patented foot scanning technology

 

But there’s no need to pussyfoot just yet. Although the patent has been approved, Walt Disney Co. says it has no immediate plans to implement the system, and that the project is simply part of Disney’s commitment to innovative research.

 

“In our ongoing effort to relentlessly innovate and push the boundaries of creativity and technology to create immersive experiences and legendary guest service, we file many patents annually – some come to fruition and others do not,” Suzi Brown, spokesperson for Disney told the LA Times.

 

MagicBands – RFID bracelets that function as theme-park tickets, FastPasses, hotel keys and credit cards

 

As creepy as the new technology sounds, it’s not a far cry from processes Disney has already put in place. Guest at Walt Disney World, Florida, can currently be tracked through the use of its MagicBands – RFID bracelets that function as theme-park tickets, FastPasses, hotel keys and credit cards.

 

Developed at a cost of around $US1 billion, the wristbands also allow guests to customise their theme park and dining experiences.

 


Written by: Jessica Zoiti
Published: 3 August 2016


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