With this next part, some of you Geek Moms might say, “Wow that’s really cool!” and some of you might say, “Wow, that’s really creepy!”
It’s no secret that cruise lines offer comprehensive portraiture services on board. And it’s also no secret that on a cruise your party will be pulled aside all over the place to grab pictures for your purchase later. There’s an area on all the Disney Cruise Line ships called “Shutters” where hard-copy portfolios of all of your pictures are available as soon as 2 hours after they’re taken. Photography is prohibited in Shutters, so I couldn’t share how cool this place is: touch your Key to the World card to one of the touchpads and a screen will tell you where your stateroom account’s folio is.
In our case, we were assigned “Donald Yellow 5”. Which meant the Donald bookcase, the folio marked #5 in the row of yellow folders. The area looks like an elegant library. This video shows the bookcases starting at about 0:30.
We weren’t shy about the photo opportunities. I think my husband was getting rather sick of it, but I like that there is no obligation to purchase. And you never know when you might have a winner in there. (Especially when I’m usually the one BEHIND the camera and it was nice to be in front of it every once in a while.) We had over 50 prints in our folio by the end of our four-night cruise; only about 10 of them were worth keeping. My oldest son blinks a lot, and my husband’s glasses had a lot of glares.
So we’re enjoying the beach on Castaway Cay. We had rented inner tubes for the boys to float around in. At one point a photographer was wading around along the water/sand line, photographing guests. It was nice in that he didn’t photograph children without the parents’ permission, and my son posed like a champ.
But I didn’t have my Key to the World card with which I could associate the picture. “That’s okay,” said the nice young photographer. And he snapped a few pictures and moved on to the next family. Really?
Lo and behold, that evening when we checked our folio our two water pictures were in the folio!!!
How could that be? Easy. Disney biometrics.
Bio…what? Bio as in life, metrics as in mathematics. In this case, Disney employs facial recognition technology to compare pictures of “unknown” guests to other photos that have already been taken during the cruise. So if you had a picture taken already during the cruise, and it was already associated with a stateroom account via a Key to the World card, the software can find the unassociated picture’s home: your folio.
For those who didn’t have any pictures and didn’t have anything to associate, a wall on one side of Shutters displayed all the “unknown” faces.
I had talked about this Castaway Cay photo association with some fellow cruise guests and they pointed out that it seemed rather creepy to them. We all hoped that none of the biometric information is saved once the cruise is over.
What do you think? Biometric face recognition: cool or creepy?