Facial recognition has been a hot topic within theme parks over the last few years. As of today, a theme park has officially rolled it out. This is not a beta test, FacePass is being used at all locations across Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
if you’re not familiar, YAS Island is home to several theme parks including Ferrari World and Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi. You can use FacePass to not only gain entry into the parks but to pay for things like food and merchandise.
The process may seem like a lot of steps, but its actually pretty simple. Once you buy a ticket, you create an account. Once you create that account you then “enroll your face”. Which for some reason strikes me as very funny. It just means that the app takes a scan of your face, much like Face ID on smartphones. From there you just link your ticket to your face (also very funny) and then you can use FacePass to enter the parks.
Using a credit card is actually basically the same thing both Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World have been doing for a while now. You just link your credit card to your account. Instead of using a MagicBand or the mobile app, you literally just use your face.
Admittedly, if you watch some of the videos on this, you’ll see people using FacePass while pulling their mask down. The system does not work if your face is 80% covered and only your eyes are visible. It only works if it can recognize your entire face. Again, this is similar to FaceID on smartphones.
As we have reported in the past, Universal has been working on a facial recognition program as well. What happened to it? Well, it is still being quietly worked on. However, the pandemic has definitely slowed things down. Not only because tests can’t really continue with masks on, but funding has also put the project at a snail’s pace. As of right now, it still plays a vital role on Universal’s Epic Universe. More on that in another story.
What are your thoughts on facial recognition? Would you use it? Would you rather it be optional? Can you see all theme parks adapting this technology in the future?
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