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Disney research let’s you interact with virtual characters via augmented reality

One of the amazing research teams at Disney Research division of Walt Disney Imagineering has come up with a way to allow the animated world to interact with the real world in real tie on the screen. They call their first official proof of concept the Magic Bench. It features haptic feedback so that the characters you interact with on the screen, actually look, sound, and feel like they’re right in the room with you.

This mix of augmented reality with real world spaces has all sorts of practical applications for theme parks and entertainment in general. Disney Research has created a walk-up and play experience that they’re sharing today:

I don’t know about you, but this seems perfect for that rumored Zootopia area that is under consideration for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It could be part of a deliberate installation, or just configured as a sort of chance encounter where you’re sitting down to check your mobile phone and a screen in front of you shows the character who then starts interacting with you.

Put your armchair imagineering hat on and leave a comment with other ways you could see the Magic Bench being used at a theme park near you.