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Planning a theme park vacation? Get ready for your biometric closeup

biometric facial recognition

Anxious to prime the vacation-travel pump, Disney World and at least one other international entertainment venue are deploying facial recognition to identify customers wearing coronavirus masks.

Disney started a 30-day face biometrics trial on March 23, recording at entry stations the faces of adults who agree to participate. Guardians accompanying children can allow children to be scanned.

The system, which captures images of people while they wear masks, has not been identified by Disney. The capability is an option in a contactless weapons-spotting system by Evolv Technology that was tested in Disney World last summer.

A sophisticated face biometrics system is planned for three amusement parks on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Yas is a new, Candy Crush-colored entertainment, retail and residential development.

According to Arab News, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World, all independent venues, are planning facial recognition identification for part entry and payment at some stores and restaurants.

The trio will use FacePass by Anviz Global, a Chinese biometrics hardware and software maker. The product requires people to remove their mask for recording, but reportedly can identify an enrolled customer after that while they wear a mask.

It is interesting that masks must be removed in this instance because China has pioneered the capability to biometrically identify people wearing them.

Behind the Florida and Abu Dhabi rollouts is the hope that entry into and enjoyment of attractions can be made faster, more secure and more COVID-19 safe.

Enabling customers to pay without so much as having to reach for a phone has been a retail goal for decades. Generally, the less people need to focus on making a purchase — including reaching for a phone or a wallet — the more likely they are to make bigger impulse purchases.

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