PHOTOS: Photo Validation Facial Recognition Scanners Being Tested at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Kyle Silagyi

PHOTOS: Photo Validation Facial Recognition Scanners Being Tested at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Photo Validation facial recognition scanners have entered a testing phase at Universal’s Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort. The scanners are only in use at select turnstiles at the park’s entrance and remain in a testing phase, meaning that they’re only available on a limited and unscheduled basis.

Photo Validation Scanners Tested at Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Islands of Adventure Facial Recognition 3

We noticed the scanners at the entrance of Universal’s Islands of Adventure on the afternoon of October 11. A sign describing the photo validation system was placed in front of the turnstiles; it tells guests that the system is in a “Technical Rehearsal” and is thus available only on a limited basis.

Islands of Adventure Facial Recognition 1
Islands of Adventure Facial Recognition 2

The system is not yet fully in use around Universal Orlando Resort. Guests were still able to scan their fingers to confirm their identity upon entering the park at the time that we entered; the facial recognition scanners, once fully implemented, will serve as an alternative identifier. Whether Photo Validation facial recognition scanners will ultimately fully replace fingerprint scanners is currently unknown.

Islands of Adventure Facial Recognition 4

The scanner took our photo after we scanned our ticket. The screen then changed colors from blue to green.

This technology has been tested previously at Universal Orlando Resort. It will also be used at the Epic Universe entrance when the new park opens in 2025.

Facial recognition UIOA

Universal Orlando Resort recently added the following information about Photo Validation scanners to the Privacy Info Center portion of their website:

What is Photo Validation?
Photo Validation is a new, faster, and more seamless way to begin your visit to Universal Islands of Adventure – you just scan, smile, and go!

How is Photo Validation being used at Universal Islands of Adventure?
Photo Validation is used to to access select experiences – including verifying tickets and ticket holders at Universal Islands of Adventure Park Entry. Photo Validation is currently in Technical Rehearsal and will be available on a limited and unscheduled basis. Guests may continue to use their finger scan at lanes without Photo Validation during Technical Rehearsal.

Are Guests required to use Photo Validation?
Using Photo Validation is optional. You may opt out at Park Entry, or at Guest Services. If you decide to opt out of Photo Validation, you will continue to enter the park using the same lanes as guests who do use Photo Validation. Adults who decide to opt-out will be required to present a Photo ID to validate their ticket.

What data does Photo Validation collect?
We take a photo the first time you use your ticket. From that photo, the software builds a Photo Template. A Photo Template is a unique set of data points based on facial features. On subsequent entries to Universal Islands of Adventure, a new Photo Template is created and will be compared to the stored template to validate your ticket or other entitlement.

How long will Photo Validation data be stored in your system?
Photo Templates and images will be stored for no longer than six months after the expiration of the associated ticket or other entitlement. This is consistent with our entrance finger scan process.

Will you be testing out the new Photo Validation scanners at Universal’s Islands of Adventure? Let us know in the comments.

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Author

  • Kyle Silagyi

    Kyle has been an ardent fan of all things Disney and themed entertainment since his first trek up the Forbidden Mountain in 2006. You can reach him at kyle@wdwnt.com