VIDEO: Disney Research’s ‘Botanicus Interacticus’ Makes Plantlife Interactive

Botanicus Interacticus from Disney ResearchWhile Disney Research Zurich prepares to present its face cloning for audio animatronic use at SIGGRAPH today, Disney Research Pittsburgh is demonstrating its own new technology which allows converting any isolated plant into an interactive experience, allowing computers to detect where a human touches the plant.

Dubbed ‘Botanicus Interacticus: Interactive Plant Technology,’ the technology, which is based on the Touche technology introduced earlier this year, allows a single electrical wire to be inserted in soil. The wire transmits a frequency sweep between .1 and 3 Mhz which allows the area in which the plant is touched to be estimated without causing any damage to the plant itself.

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Patent: Disney to Clone Human Faces for Realistic Audio Animatronics

Disney's Physical Face Cloning PatentIn this day and age in which 3D scans of human faces are turned into exciting keepsakes such as the Disney/LucasFilm Star Wars Weekends experience ‘Carbon Freeze Me,’ in which guests could receive a replica of themselves frozen in carbonite a la Han Solo, and the upcoming ‘I Am A Princess,’ which builds on a previous test in which guests could have a princess doll in their likeness made, technology is becoming a key player in what has been even the most traditional of trades.

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Disney Enacts Food Advertising Restictions on Television; Announces ‘Mickey Check’ Tool

Mickey CheckBuilding on its landmark nutrition guidelines established in 2006, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) today became the first major media company to introduce new standards for food advertising on programming targeting kids and families. This significant undertaking marks the latest step in Disney’s partnership with parents to inspire kids to lead healthier lifestyles. Under Disney’s new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored, or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney, and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children will be required by 2015 to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines. The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium, and sugar.

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Alan Horn Named as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios

Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, announced today that Alan Horn has been named Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios effective June 11. Horn will oversee worldwide operations for The Walt Disney Studios including production, distribution and marketing for live-action and animated films from Disney, Pixar and Marvel, as well as marketing and distribution for DreamWorks Studios films released under the Touchstone Pictures banner. Disney’s music and theatrical divisions will also report to Horn.

Horn has been a prominent figure in the film and television industry overseeing creative executive teams responsible for some of the world’s most successful entertainment properties including the Harry Potter film franchise and the hit television series Seinfeld among others.

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Disney Parks Patent to Automate Character Meet & Greets Personalized Photos, Video

Disney's Automated Personalized Imaging SystemImagine walking into a room, running up to and hugging Donald Duck, turning to face an unmanned camera and walking out with a unique QR code stamped in your autograph book next to the ‘Donald Duck #1′ signature, referencing it later to not only access hi-res photos on your phone, but a fully edited video package of your character experience — and not a single Cast Member had a hand in the process.

With motion capture (MoCap) technology setups and video analytic software becoming more and more commonplace and more cost effective, it’s only a matter of time before their applications go beyond the norm of filmmaking and security.

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Disney Donates $500,000 to National Park Foundation Programs

In celebration of National Park Week, the National Park Foundation – the official charity of America’s national parks – today received a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help connect kids and families to nature through America’s national parks. Disney’s investment will go specifically to the National Park Foundation’s “Ticket to Ride” and “America’s Best Idea” programs, which will help kids explore the outdoors by providing transportation to and supporting community projects at national parks around the country.

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Disney’s ‘Heroes Work Here’ Commits to Hiring Military Veterans (Video)

Disney's 'Heroes Work Here' CampaignToday at the 2012 annual shareholder’s meeting in Kansas City, MO, Disney CEO and President Robert Iger announced a new program designed to support America’s military called ‘Heroes Work Here.’ The ‘Heroes Work Here’ initiative intends to employee and train 1,000 United States military veterans at positions across The Walt Disney Company.

Beginning soon, the company will begin promoting the new campaign in unscripted advertisements that feature veterans employed by the company which Iger hopes will inspire other companies to do the same to support the military and their families. The campaign will air on Disney owned networks such as ABC, ESPN and other media platforms.

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Disney Patent Puts New Spin on Traditional Carousel Design

Disney's Carousel PatentPictured here is a diagram taken from a recent patent application for a new breed of carousel from Disney Enterprises. At first glance, you’ll notice some interesting deviations from what we’ve come to known as a carousel, standard fare for any amusement park, even parks such as the Magic Kingdom, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

What you may not notice at first, however — and it may not in fact be intentional in the drawing — is that the horses are backwards — at least for this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally speaking, American carousels travel in a counter-clockwise direction whereas European travel in a clockwise direction. So while you will generally see the horses face to the right at Disney theme parks (even at Disneyland Paris), these horses are facing the opposite direction.

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Disney Patent Application Adds New Dimension to Classic Dumbo Concept

TELESCOPING-ARM ROUND RIDE FOR AMUSEMENT PARKSAt first glance, the type of attraction proposed in Disney’s patent application #20110312428, titled ‘Telescoping-Arm Round Ride for Amusement Parks,’ should look strongly familiar to anyone who’s ever visited a Disney theme park. Demonstrating with airplane-themed vehicles instead of elephants, this invention by Edward A. Nemeth and David W. Crawford has a couple of tricks up its sleeve.

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Beats Us: Will the ‘Disney Xperience’ Include XPass? New ‘Unlock the Magic’ Fan Club?

Our ‘daily’ research has unveiled a couple of recent moves by The Walt Disney Company and while we don’t know enough about them to provide any additional information beyond the registrations themselves, we felt they were interesting enough to warrant an empty mention (i.e., this space intentionally left blank for future information).

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