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Technology

Disney taps Hitachi for smarter theme park magic

Internet of things to improve ride maintenance and visitor experience

Hitachi's Internet  of Things technology will be employed to improve visitors' experience at Disney World.   © Reuters

LAS VEGAS, U.S. -- Hitachi will enter a partnership with The Walt Disney Co. to provide artificial intelligence and analytics at the entertainment giant's theme parks, the Japanese technology group said Wednesday.

Hitachi Vantara, Hitachi's U.S. unit, has agreed to provide data analysis for both Disneyland and Disney World through the Lumada suite of internet of things tools. The partnership was announced at NEXT 2019, the data technology conference being held in Las Vegas.

The technology is already in use in multiple attractions, according to Hitachi. Sensors installed on rides will predict breakdowns using artificial-intelligence programs and streamline maintenance.

Hitachi and Disney will employ virtual software and data sharing to optimize theme park operations. Simulations, for example, will replicate crowds of visitors help decide where to place an attraction.

Disney will be able to boost customer satisfaction by reducing maintenance times. Hitachi meanwhile will use the partnership as a jumpoff point to develop offshore markets in the IoT business. Right now, Lumada is 90% focused on domestic clients.

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