At Planet Biometrics we are all kids at heart. So when we saw Disney's new cruise ship we couldn't resist taking a look – and were pleasantly surprised to see facial recognition playing a part in the ship's incredible technological capability.
Boasting the world's first 'water coaster' at sea, 14 decks, a ship length of 1,115 feet, and the capacity to host 4000 passengers, the Disney Dream is simply mindboggling.
Disney Cruise Line began construction on the ship in March 2009 and was scheduled for completion in early 2011. It is Disney's third cruise ship and according to reports is very different from both Disney Wonder and Disney Magic thanks to the level of technological sophistication.
So where do the biometrics come in?
Disney has never shied away from using biometrics - for example it uses finger-based technology at the entrance to its theme parks in Florida. On the cruise ship, however, the biometrics are being used in a different, more friendly way.
First of all there is something called moving art. This is interactive art spread out throughout the ship. These are actually moving pictures that ‘play’ once a passenger stands in front of them. Each one incorporates facial recognition technology, to ensure it won’t play the same sequence twice.
Facial recognition is also used to sort out the vast numbers of photos that are taken on the ship and on Disney's private Castaway Cay Island. Professional photographers take pictures of kids and their families, with and without characters. Passengers do not pay to have their photo taken unless they subsequently want to purchase the pictures. Traditionally, this meant either presenting various coded vouchers that flagged up the photo, or passengers had to search through reams of photos to find themselves. Now, using facial recognition technology (in a similar way to Facebook's new photo tag application) the system is able to sort all the photos of that person, which can be viewed at leisure in the passenger's own personalized album.