Well isn’t this an interesting turn of events? On November 29, 2017, The Asahi Shimbun (a news site for Asian and Japanese news) reported that Tokyo Disneyland would be rolling out facial recognition technology for their annual passholders starting in spring 2019.
According to the article, annual passport holders will scan a QR code at the main entrance turnstile upon entry. Once scanned, the QR code will be matched with a picture of the ticket holder’s face on file. Currently, when an annual passholder approaches the turnstile, a Disney Cast Member checks the face of the guest as they enter on a screen.
This new system will allow for a vast reduction in labor for front entrance operations as well as help streamline the entrance process. This project is part of a larger one to consolidate main entrance operations by cutting down on the number of ticket windows from 32 down to six and will replace many of them with automated ticket vending machines.
While this may be viewed as cost savings, it is mostly a necessary one as Tokyo continues to face an ever-growing labor shortage problem. Even more interesting, Universal Studios Japan has been using facial recognition technology for their annual passholders since 2007. The technology, while it still works, is a bit out of date at this point. Guests put their head into a metal box and a camera scans their face to match it to a photo on file once their QR code is scanned. While we don’t know exactly what kind of facial recognition technology will be used at Tokyo Disneyland just yet, odds are it will be far more advanced than this as software on this has advanced greatly in the last ten years.
We are going to be covering a lot of facial recognition technology in the future and how it could affect your theme park visit. If you haven’t already, check out our expose on how Universal Orlando might be using this technology to streamline your entire visit by clicking this link.
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