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Disney obtains patent to track theme park guests through their feet


ORLANDO, FLA. —The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Walt Disney Co. a patent for a new type of technology: A system that can track theme-park guests through their feet.

The company says that there are no immediate plans to use such a system. This project is part of Disney’s ongoing innovative research process, the company said, and many projects it explores may never actually end up in the parks.

According to information supplied to the patent agency, sensors and cameras would help identify particular visitors, and the data “can be used to output a customized guest experience” including photographs. Theme parks could also use such a system to mine data about common paths from ride to ride.

The company can already track guests at Walt Disney World who use MagicBands, RFID bracelets that function as theme-park tickets, FastPasses, hotel keys and credit cards.

Current methods of tracking guests and matching them up “are limited to rather invasive methods, such as retinal and fingerprint identification methods,” the patent information said. “These methods are obtrusive and some guests may not feel comfortable providing this type of biometric information to a third party.”

TORONTO STAR | BUSINESS