If virtual reality is taking theme parks by storm in 2017, you’ve got to wonder… what’s next? My money is actually on facial recognition and how it can impact the theme park experience. Disney recently filed a patent on a technology that will read your facial expression while you’re on a ride and adjust your surroundings accordingly.
“The technology would allow rides to adjust show content appropriate for pre-teens, teenagers or adults; or for thrill-seeking and non thrill-seeking passengers. The control system may also operate the vehicle to address (e.g. even solve in some cases) motion sickness issues for passengers such as by adjusting speed or movement patterns of a vehicle. [Through RFID or some other identifying system] access one or more ride experience goals (or expectations) for the occupant.
For example, the occupant may simply desire transportation while in the automated trackless vehicle and, hence, will not be wanting to interact with to be entertained by external display systems. In other cases, though, the occupant may have provided goals/expectations (e.g. by completing a questionnaire on a website or the like) that indicate they want to be educated during the ride, be entertained in a particular manner during the ride, be informed of sales on services or merchandise during the ride, and so on. In the same or other cases, the goals/expectations may indicate whether the ride experience” should be thrilling, as smooth as possible, or something in between, said the patent.
What this exactly means and how and where it will be implemented is still up in the air. This is not the first time an attraction has been able to customize an experience for their guests. Several years ago, a robot known as Robothespian debuted at Futuroscope in France. The life-size robot built by British company Engineered Arts was made almost entirely of white aluminum and is operated by compressed air. His head has three processors and a video camera which allows him to interact with guests in real time. Robothespian can copy and interact with visitors and can speak a total of 15 languages, including English, French, Hebrew, and Mandarin Chinese.
More recently, Universal has been testing facial recognition technology in their Universal Express queues at Islands of Adventure. Could they be planning on using facial recognition in their entire park? Read my analysis over at this link.
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Images Copyright: Walt Disney Company, Futuroscope, Universal Orlando