Mickey’s foot fetish: Disney eyes hidden cameras for up-sole shots of guests

Mickey Mouse has been unmasked.

Beloved by legions of children since he first appeared on screen in 1928, and known for his ready smile, easy charm and boundless enthusiasm, the Mouse has been revealed as a kinky fetishist with totalitarian tendencies.

The elderly rodent, 88, has lately been considering a new way to maximize profit, er, improve guest experience, in the Magic Kingdom, all the while indulging his voyeuristic foot fetish.

Now, before folks in the kink community get their studded panties in a twist, let it be said that there’s nothing wrong with a foot fetish, per se. People (and celebrity vermin, it seems), have all variety of preferred methods of gratification. And if their focus area happens to be feet, so be it, as long as they don’t do anything like photograph others’ feet without their knowledge.

Unfortunately, it appears the big-eared wonder is looking at exactly that. And he may enlist a nosy robot pal to help him.

This month, Disney Enterprises received a patent for a system in an amusement park that would allow the company to secretly capture imagery of guests’ feet, to track them throughout Disneyland or Disney World. The system involves scans and photographs of people’s feet, and in one scenario uses a robot to gather imagery and collect personal data including “at least one of a guest name, favorite character, favorite food, hometown, and/or favorite ride.” Paired with images of a visitors’ feet, the data would allow Mickey to create “a customized guest experience based on the guest information.”

“The robot may also include a movement mechanism allowing the robot to roam the amusement park or a portion thereof and an input/output interface for receiving guest information from the guest,” the patent says.

To the Mouse, this technology represents a more customer-friendly approach. “Current methods for acquiring guest information and subsequently matching a particular guest with the acquired guest information are limited to rather invasive methods, such as retinal and fingerprint identification methods,” the patent says.

Gathering the foot imagery is referred to as “acquisition” of the guest. And it’s not just the word that’s creepy: The system is designed to “acquire” the visitor without the visitor knowing.

“Identification sensors can be implemented towards the ground, out of a person’s line of sight. This allows the system to unobtrusively capture the foot information from the person, especially as compared to facial recognition systems that require a user to stare directly towards the sensor, as well as other guest recognition systems that identify a person based on overall clothing, as those systems require cameras that are visible to the person.”

After acquisition comes “reacquisition.”

“As the individual moves throughout the entertainment venue, a reacquisition detecting system detects one or more various characteristics of the individual’s foot, shoe, and/or leg and attempts to match the foot characteristics with a pre-stored or previously acquired individual.

“Acquiring and reacquiring guests at different locations in the amusement park can provide data to the amusement park owners, such as the most popular rides, common guest paths from ride to ride,” the patent says. “Additionally, recognizing individual guests or providing a method for an individual to register at certain rides or other attractions allows the amusement park to tailor certain experiences for the guest, such as creating a customized media output (e.g., photograph) directed to the particular guest.”

We would not be surprised if an inordinate amount of those customized media outputs would feature the face-wide grin of one M. Mouse.

Of course, just because Disney patented this technology doesn’t mean it will use it.


Photo: Not the real Mickey Mouse (Flickr creative commons photo by Matthew Peoples) 


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