Disney theme parks could harness foot recognition technology

Disney has received a patent for foot recognition technology that could be used to improve the guest experience at the entertainment giant’s theme parks.

One potential application of foot recognition technology could use a sensor to capture a foot shape and a camera to capture the foot’s appearance. This would be used to create a foot model that “can be used to identify a particular guest and the guest data can be used to output a customized guest appearance,” according to the patent documents.

Foot recognition technology could also be used to enroll guests in a venue and by a robot that interacts with guests. “The robot may also include a movement mechanism allowing the robot to roam the amusement park or a portion thereof and an input/output interface for receiving guest information from the guest,” the patent said.

The technology could provide an alternative to “rather invasive methods” for acquiring guest information, such as retinal and fingerprint identification, according to the patent filing. “These methods are obtrusive and some guests may not feel comfortable providing this type of biometric information to a third party,” it added, noting that accessories such as hats and sunglasses could also limit the effectiveness of the technologies.

The technology could be used at amusement parks, theme parks, sporting events and other entertainment venues, according to Disney.

The entertainment company has no immediate plans to use the system, according to the Orlando Sentinel, which notes that the foot recognition technology is part of the firm’s ongoing research process.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was the world’s top amusement park in 2015 with 20.5 million visitors, according to a report released earlier this year by engineering firm AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).

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