Disney is constantly innovating. The corporation creates patents about as quickly as most of us finish our breakfast. This one new patent really intrigues me. It could demonstrate the future of games like Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure and could even affect potential meet and greets.
(Before providing some of the details of the patent application, I’ll just state that I could have had a career in patent design after all. This looks like something I would have drawn.)
A recent patent application filed by Disney Enterprises Inc provides some details on how they may use Interactive Toys to create new theme park experiences. I will state that not all patents ever make it into any form of public usage, but this one actually looks like it would be fun to do. Here’s some of the details:
A game player using a special interactive toy would engage targets using this new glove design where a player
“is provided in a light-controlled setting where the game-players may wear or hold one or more of various toys (e.g., gloves). The system detects and recognizes the toy along with gestures and pointing efforts performed by the game-player and the system generates an effect based on the type of toy and the type of gesture. The system also generates one or more visual targets that are visible to the game-player such as projections, holograms, and displays of one or more of various fantasy virtual adversaries. The generated effects may include any combination of sensory effects including visual, audio, tactile, and smell/taste. The generated effect may be directed based on the pointing efforts of the game-player. The system may then register the effect on the target, if the pointing efforts intersect with the virtual location of the target.”
The player might interact with Marvel enemies by using Iron Man’s gloves, attempt a Star Wars “Force Push,” create Spider-Man’s webs or use Elsa’s Ice Power!
“The system could generate an image of a stream of ice particles along the pointing direction from the game-player. The system could further determine if the pointing direction (vector) intersects with (or comes within some predetermined distance of) one of the visual targets. If so, the displayed image of the target could be changed to show the result of the ‘freezing’ magic powers being directed at the target–example, the virtual adversary could be shown as encased in ice and immobilized.”
Other applications of the product could include light sabers or even using a mobile phone for the interaction. How fun would it be to “Force Push” Kylo Ren and have his costume interact with you or control a robot using your gloves. That may be an extreme reach, but it would be fun. The next level of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom could even take on additional stimulation like releasing smells similar to what you’d experience at Mickey’s Philharmagic, Soarin’ or Avatar: Flight of Passage.
If they had these gloves when my son was little, he would have never taken them off!