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Disney tech monitors guests fear and adjusts ride experience

Walt Disney Company. Jack Dorsey. Sheryl Sandberg. Twitter. Facebook.

Disney is developing technology that can detect the fear level of a guest on a ride and adjust the experience so that they are not too scared.

The US Patent Office approved a patent for Disney in October last year for ride technology that adjusts the experience based on the fear levels of riders. Now, Disney is looking to broaden the technology’s use so that it can be implemented anywhere.

Terry Sanks, a patent attorney, told the Orland Sentinel that Disney could be looking to use it in venues outside of theme parks, such as cruise ships. The park operator could also license it out to other companies.

The patent application describes technology that could monitor heart rate, skin temperature, facial expressions, voice stress, gestures and eye movement.

The system would use this information to maintain “an appropriate level of fear” in the guest, or up the levels of excitement if the guest is in danger of becoming bored.

Disney’s patent application states: “If the heart rate measurements from [a] sensor indicate that guest is frightened, control system will route car to less-frightening ride segment.

“In contrast, if the heart rate measurements indicate that guest is bored, control system will route car to more-frightening ride segment.”

Bob Boyd, a gaming and leisure-focused research analyst, told the Sentinel: “A lot of Disney’s research is focused on customising the guest experience. It’s obviously a huge challenge when you have millions of guests coming through the parks, but it may very well be critical to their future.”

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