Mickey wants your sole: Disney to track park guests using their shoes

Disney has patented a system to track guests at its theme parks using their shoes. Its system would use cameras and sensors to scan people’s footwear on arrival, and track them as they move around the grounds. It would let Disney build a picture of which rides, shops and shows are proving popular during a typical visit. The data could then influence how its parks are designed and adapted in the future.

As the identification sensors … are angled towards the ground, the background surrounding the person’s feet is often easier to identify and account for when extracting the foot information from the sensor data

Disney patent

The application - filed in 2015 and granted this week - describes placing feet sensors at the entrance area. A robot would also interact with guests as they pass, allowing it to collect a depth image of at least one foot. Disney describes “hiding” the sensors to blend in with the park, because customers do not like being watched. The entertainment giant says that tracking shoes is easier than tracking faces, because of the wide variations in the appearance, size and colour of footwear.