Universal Studios' Secret Life Of Pets Attraction Will Use Facial Recognition To Turn Guests Into Stray Dogs

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The newest attraction coming to Universal Studios Hollywood isn't based on a massive tentpole blockbuster movie with a massive digital effects budget. It is, however, going to use some pretty impressive technology, all the same. This morning Universal Studios Hollywood revealed some new details about the forthcoming The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash attraction, including the fact that it will use facial recognition technology as well as gesture tracking in order to turn those on the ride into unique stray dogs.

The majority of the voice cast of Secret Life of Pets 2, including Patton Oswalt, Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, and Jenny Slate, among many others, will be lending their voices to their theme park versions as well. The ride will see guests inside ride vehicles made to look like cardboard boxes, the traditional starting place of puppies looking for a home, and will move guests through a version of the film's New York City brought to life through a combination of animation, projection mapping, and "hyper realistic media." Guests will each take on the role of a different stray puppy as the attraction takes guests on a quest to find their forever home.

What's most intriguing about the new attraction however, has to be the way that guests will be taking on the role of these stray puppies. According to Universal Studios, a combination of facial recognition and gesture tracking will be used to assign a guest to a different stray puppy each time they go on the ride. By tracking the rider throughout the attraction, the ride will be able to keep each guest close to their stray puppy avatar. The fact that the attraction will also be tracking gestures would seem to indicate riders might have some ability to control the animal as well, though that's not made entirely clear.

Along with the new attraction details, The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash also got an official logo.

Secret Life of Pets Off the leash logo

The new attraction is being constructed in the area of Universal Studios Hollywood formerly known as Baker Street, which will now be called Pets Place. It's located near another Illumination based attraction, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. Along with the new attraction, storefronts in the area of the new Pets Place will receive a face lift to resemble a busy New York City street, including a subway station.

An exact opening date for The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash hasn't been revealed, but the ride will open some time this Spring.

The two Secret Life Of Pets movies have combined for over $1.4 billion in global box office, so there will likely be a lot of fans interested in checking out the new attraction when it opens later this year.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.