The projects coming out of Disney Research these days is astounding. The latest takes images drawn in coloring books and renders them in augmented reality as a fully realized 3D model. I think I would have been a lot more interested in drawing if my… Read More »Disney Research turns coloring book characters into animated 3D models
With the acquisition of Lucasfilm, Disney also picked up one of the true innovators in digital effects and film technology – Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). ILM may have been worth the whole $4 billion price tag themselves. Of course, now that they’re part of… Read More »Lucasfilm’s ILM developing virtual Star Wars universe for Disney’s Theme Parks
We recently looked at seven attractions that Disney will likely never build again in their theme parks, everybody told me that while the list was accurate, it was also depressing. Today I want to offer a little more hope (in most cases) with ten technologies I expect to see in Disney use in its resorts and attractions soon.
I wrote about some of these in my book “Dispatch from Disneyland” back in 1999 by extrapolating from some very early experiments Walt Disney Imagineering was doing a the time. It’s great to see some of these becoming less speculative fiction and more non-fiction.
1. Increased personalization – This is one of the true promises of MyMagic+ and the RFID and NFC chips that make it possible. As a guest, you won’t just just hear or see your name or image in an attraction, but attractions will change their environment around you based on your preferences. For instance it could adjust sound level, brightness, scariness factor, etc.. Disney can analyze your shopping, dining, and attraction patterns and make suggestions on merchandise, food locations, and attractions may have have missed or when a short line is available for a suitable attraction. The list is pretty much endless and the technology to do most of this is here today.
2. Augmented reality – We’ve seen limited use of virtual reality in Disney Quest, but AR is more about laying facts, data, experiences on top of our existing reality resulting in a more immersive, connected experience. Aurasma is just a parlor trick compared to what we could see here. 3D Augmented Reality is in the near future. There are any number of demo videos out there, here’s a semi-recent one where it’s easy to see some of these ideas translated into theme park experiences.
3. Self-driving Podcars – Yes, it’s the future WALL-E warned us about, but just like the Monorail was the future of transportation back in 1959, the autonomous self-driving podcar is the future of all transportation. Walt Disney World is the perfect place to model this. I wrote a little about this before. The technology has become much more advanced in the last 18 months and Google even has a prototype vehicle which would work perfectly within the confines of Walt Disney World. Come on Bob Chapek, make it happen as your first big move as new Disney Parks & Resorts Chair.
4. Minority Report / Corning Glass – In the not too distant future any surface can be made interactive. Remember this video from Corning?
Yeah, that was 2011. They’re getting a lot closer to making it ready for retail. But first, it needs to show up in a showcase location, and really what better location that Disney, right? I mean you could redo EPCOT’s FutureWorld in this stuff and really blow everyone away.
5. Drones – The burrito drone may seem like a practical joke, but in a resort setting like Walt Disney World, having delivery to your room or spot at a water park by drone is a real possibility. Doesn’t have to be food either, could be lost magic bands, a toothbrush, a special gift from Mickey Mouse. Not sure how this would work inside an attraction, but I trust Disney’s Imagineers to figure it out.
6. Haptic feedback / ultrasonics – This technology will allow what you see in the virtual / augmented reality space to feel real to the touch. Disney Research has been doing a lot of work in this area and I expect to see it brought to theme park attractions in the not too distant future (maybe even in Avatar).
Disney’s Gary Buchanan and Star Wars Weekends celebrity host James Arnold Taylor demonstrate some of the ways you can have even more interactive fun at this year’s Star Wars Weekends. Disney has leveraged the technology of Aurasma’s Augmented Reality App to add a new dimension… Read More »How to use Augmented Reality App at Star Wars Weekends
One of Disney World’s public relations experts tweeted that fans should prepare for a new augmented reality experience at Star Wars Weekends this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Fun #AugmentedReality @ @StarWars Weekends this year. Attending? download @Aurasma app for iPhone/Android. More details to come.… Read More »Augmented Reality Coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Star Wars Weekends
This weekend New Yorkers, and a couple thousand lucky tourists, are in for a special Disney treat – Disney Parks is bringing a unique interactive experience to Times Square with a brand-new augmented reality play space. Guests will be able to engage live on screen with Disney characters on the 6-story tall, state-of-the-art digital display above the Disney Store.
Each person who participates has the chance to interact with a wide variety of characters doing an array of activities. For example, a dance-off with Donald or a duel with Captain Hook. Once the interaction is complete, the participant poses for a photo which is sent to them immediately via email.
The biggest project being worked on in the renowned underground bunkers of Walt Disney World is the ultra-secret Next-Gen system. Known as NGE internally, to differentiate it from the Next-Gen interactive queues that are part of a separate project from WDI, development costs are reportedly as much as building two brand new theme parks. So it better be good right?
This morning I had the chance to sit down with two Disney executives who recently left the NGE team to start up their own company. The pair definitely had some interesting things to say, things that might just turn your ideas about the Walt Disney World Resort on its head.
The Next-Gen project currently being worked on for Walt Disney World is rumored to feature a mobile device that will over lay a new experience on top of the existing theme park. This is a form of Augmented Reality and it’s a growing field for… Read More »Augmented Reality and Disney