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Disneyland May Use Creepy Feet-Recognition Sensors To Follow You

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Disney has come up with technology that can scan and recognize a visitor’s feet, reports the OC Register. According to the International Business Times the technology was just granted a patent by the US Patent and Trademark Office. You can check out the patent here.

So how, exactly, is the technology supposed to work? First, a visitor will step on an "acquisition station" that has a sensor that scans feet. As depicted in diagrams, only the soles of your shoes will be scanned, not your bare feet, so you don't have to worry about matters of hygiene. Your feet will be processed, paired with relevant data (like your name, hometown, and favorite Disney character), and put into a database.

After that you can go into the park, frolic, eat a turkey leg, and do whatever you want. There'll be "reacquisition stations" around the park on which you can step on to tell Disney "Hey, I was here!" These stations will be deployed at rides, and park employees and robot mascots may also be equipped with the feet-recognition sensors. The whole purpose is for Disney combine all this information to tailor an experience that will be unique to the visitor. As per The OC Register:

"A cast member - Disney's vernacular for employees - would be able to approach a guest by name, provide specific information for a meet-and-greet with a favorite Disney character or ask whether they got wet on Splash Mountain."
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Really? Couldn't we tasks our scientists with more worthwhile things to do?

SiliconBeat, a blog from The Mercury News, had this take on Mickey and his new toy:

"The elderly rodent, 88, has lately been considering a new way to maximize profit, er, improve guest experience, in the Magic Kingdom, all the while indulging his voyeuristic foot fetish."

That's maybe a bit more snark than the enterprise deserves. But, to be honest, the technology is pretty creepy. Hopefully this is not the impetus of some cyber takeover. We already know how that would turn out:

Seeing as how the technology just got its patent, it may still be a while before it will be implemented at Disneyland (if ever). In the meanwhile, Disney World has already been experimenting with "MagicBand" wristbands that use long-range radio to transmit the visitor's info for employees to build a customized experience for the guest.