Disney Imagineers constantly look for technological advances. Now, they will take the virtual world to the next level with their new patent!
Virtual Projections at Disney
Disney thrills theme park guests daily using virtual experiences! For example, at the Rise of the Resistance pre-show area, Rey’s hologram is shown brightly, giving guests an “urgent message”.
Disney introduced mapping technology for projections on new nighttime firework shows. Just look up Mickey’s Mix Magic and Enchantment. I (Susan) love the mapping technology effects!
With Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Disney departed from the traditional use of glasses to create an immersive experience. This trackless attraction gives guest an immersive feeling of being inside an actual Mickey Mouse cartoon.
Be sure to check out the pre-show. Here, guests actually “walk into” the short.
Then, the fun gets even better as you step onboard Goofy’s Runaway Train. This first of its kind attraction whirls guests through both 2-dimensional animation as well as projection mapping without the need of glasses.
Although this is new technology, Disney continues improving virtual guest experiences with its new patent.
In augmented reality (AR), the appearance of a real-world environment is digitally altered, creating the feeling of actually being in a virtual-world. However, to enjoy the virtual environment, external devices and virtual projections are required. Above, check out Kenny the Pirate in his Web Slinger glasses.
Using augmented reality requires 3D glasses or other external devices.
Outside Device Downside
Creating a 3D virtual experience that includes glasses, goggles, and headsets can be costly and inconvenient. Not only that, but people are more concerned about sharing and reusing 3D glasses.
Another downside to 3D glasses is they are only enjoyed by one person. To improve guest experiences, Disney went to the table to create a shared visual world that can thrill all guests from multiple viewpoints.
Disney set out to create a brand new way to experience visual simulators!
A virtual-world simulator includes a hardware processor, a memory storing a software code, and a tracking system connected to the computer platform. Also, it needs a projection device communicating to the computer platform.
The hardware processor is configured to execute the software code to map out a real-world venue. Then, it identifies one or more virtual effects for display in the real-world venue.
Not only that, but a tracking system allows the perspective into the real-world venue or a camera in the real-world venue. The hardware processor is also configured to execute the software code to control the projection device.
This creates a virtual-world simulation by aligning virtual effects to the real-world environment. The abstract can be a little confusing, but please keep reading. I’ve simplified it below.
How will this improve guest experiences?
On December 28, 2021, the Walt Disney Company was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a Virtual World Simulator. According to the patent, one or more users can experience this virtual-world simulated by conforming virtual effects to the 3-dimensional real-world venues from the vantage point of each user.
This gives users a significant improvement over the most recent virtual-world simulations. Not only that, but guests can experience this without use of glasses, goggles or digital devices. This sounds so cool!
One or more users can experience this virtual-world simulated by conforming virtual effects to 3-dimensional real-world venues from each guest perspective.
What are your thoughts on this patent? What do you see it being used for going forward? Please share your thoughts below or on our KtP Crew page.
Source: U.S. Patent website (U.S. Patent 11210843)