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Why leisure businesses are adopting facial recognition

(Image credit: Image Credit: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock)

As technology advances at lightning speed, consumers are demanding seamless digital experiences across all aspects of their lives. Digital-natives have grown up in a world of smartphones, social media and the internet, but the reality is that consumers of all ages now live in a connected world with content instantly available at the click of a button. Technological developments are resetting customer expectations and forcing all businesses to respond with increasingly innovative digital solutions.    

This is particularly true for leisure businesses. With consumers demanding more from their digital experiences, bigger and better thrills, and rides reaching the physical limits of possibility, these businesses are using innovative imaging technology to capture joyful moments and enhance the customer experience in a non-intrusive way, encouraging organic sharing, loyalty and brand engagement. Smartphones and wearables are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technologies to be adopted by leisure businesses of the future. 

Image-capture revolution 

Biometric technology is at the forefront of leisure business innovation. Via facial recognition, content created at an attraction can be identified and organised, seamlessly presenting visitors with their own personalised digital album. Content-hungry consumers can be presented with the opportunity to immediately purchase images and videos, along with the option of sharing instantly on social media, or enjoying and sharing content post-visit. 

Visitors to the world’s leading destinations can then select their image from an existing photo or selfie upload. If they opt-in to facial recognition for their visit, then advanced association technology can identify them at multiple content creation points throughout, with no physical touchpoints or additional staffing necessary.   

Scalable, secure, cloud-based technology can automatically organise multiple images which can then be accessed via an integrated interface, app or website. This type of service is compatible with a range of formats including video, photo and sound files, making it even more compelling for visitors to purchase content in-app. 

Consumer experience 

The latest digital platforms available can facilitate a range of experiences across a destination, linking content created by ride capture, roaming photographers, queue-line green screens and more. This allows visitors to enjoy their leisure experience without the pressure of capturing special moments for themselves. This technology also enables any on-site staff at a destination to develop more personal, quality interactions with customers, enhancing engagement and the overall visitor journey. 

Leisure businesses of the future will increasingly incorporate fully-integrated content capture opportunities within attractions, adding to guests’ enjoyment from the moment they join queue lines to the time they leave the destination. The ambience, energy and excitement of an attraction will be reflected at every touch point, including when viewing and purchasing merchandise. This not only enhances customer experience, but offers additional revenue opportunities, capturing one-of-a-kind images consumers wish to save and share. This builds a more emotional, less transactional relationship between visitor and destination.    

Invisible integration 

Evolving customer service, revolutionising the retail environment and improving business intelligence – facial recognition technology is already making big waves in the industry. However, it is something that, despite being ‘bought in’ from external vendors, can quietly and seamlessly integrate with destination partner branding.   

Technology providers are continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible at visitor destinations worldwide, and Picsolve proudly announced its game-changing new facial recognition platform at IAAPA’s expo in Orlando this year. We are constantly exploring how we can expand our proposition into new sectors and are always looking for more powerful ways in which consumers can capture, collect and share digital moments around the world. The uptake of facial recognition technology in the leisure market marks a particularly exciting time in the history of image capture. Facial recognition technology is set to revolutionise how global destinations create, collate, distribute and retail photo and video-graphic content. 

What’s next 

Wearable technology is evolving significantly to improve consumer experience. In 2016, Accesso Technology’s R&D (opens in new tab) ploughed millions into wearables, developing its LoQueue Prism technology. This device allows theme parks to schedule ride bookings in advance and reduce queue lines. Benefits to visitors, including enabling quicker and easier payment, were quickly recognised by Disney, which reportedly invested $1billion in its sensor and tracking accessory MagicBand. Today, just as VR creates immersive experiences, wearable devices facilitate connected ones. Picsolve’s research shows this to be true for 82 per cent of consumers.   

Wearable technology remains in its infancy however, and circumstances arise where the customer experience is not as seamless as hoped. This is where facial recognition can pick up the slack and provide a way to truly delight visitors, with instant access to rich, personalised digital content perfect for showing off to whoever they want, wherever they may be.   

In conclusion   

In the coming years, integration and the development of facial recognition and other digital tools will ensure leisure businesses can exceed expectations and improve experiences. We expect to see the wider industry incorporating this technology to forge stronger relationships with their customers. The future holds a truly connected experience for consumers, where immersive reality, AI, intelligent motion control and advances in smart devices will allow destinations to continually surprise and delight visitors. Perhaps the next major development will see drones capturing key moments without interrupting the overall experience. 

Ultimately, as leisure businesses continue to invest in technology, consumers will expect to capture and share live experiences with the world ever-more quickly. We must ensure this is always possible.    

Dan Maunder, CTO of Picsolve (opens in new tab) 

Image Credit: Zapp2Photo / Shutterstock

Dan Maunder is the CTO of Picsolve and is responsible for the company’s overall technology strategy. He oversees the R&D function, product and technology, and drives Picsolve’s digital transformation ambitions.