As part of National Preparedness Month this September, the American Red Cross today announced a $1 million grant from Disney (DIS:NYSE) to help kids and families prepare for disasters and other emergencies. Disney’s investment will support the Red Cross Pillowcase Preparedness Program as well as other youth services. Disney also developed an interstitial that will air throughout the month of September on Disney Channel, which highlights simple actions kids can take to prepare for emergencies.
Last month, we offered up evidence that Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) proprietary digital film access system, once known as Disney Studio All Access, had undergone a name change to now be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’ Although DISNEYMOVIESANYWHERE.COM ultimately goes to the DSAA preview site (via disneymoviesanywhere.disney.go.com) and the company has kindly removed the website pictured here (which was never at the aforementioned domain name ironically enough).
Despite making changes to hide the new name, however, the Walt Disney Company formally filed several trademark applications last week for ‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ for the following areas:
- Online retail store services
ESPN announced today its pledge of a lead contribution of $1 million toward construction of a new Boys and Girls Club and Family Center, in addition to its $400,000 gift in 2009 for land acquisition. The announcement was made by ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer in commemoration of ESPN’s upcoming 33rd anniversary (Sept. 7).
In an age where Kinect and PlayStation Eye/Move are encouraging less traditional interaction with video game consoles and cameras are a mainstay in virtual everything, let alone most mobile devices, one man at Disney Interactive sees video game systems moving even further from the path of the familiar and letting the console games make their own decisions based on — you guessed it — physical appearance.
Both ‘System and method for number of players determined using facial recognition’ (US Patent Application 20120214585) and ‘Gender and age based gameplay through face perception’ (US Patent Application 20120214584) list Phillippe Paquet as the sole inventor and offer to leverage existing technology in interesting ways.
To celebrate back-to-school, Disney Store, in partnership with The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), will donate 25,000 school supply kits to children at Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). Full of classroom essentials, the Disney Princess and Cars themed supply kits include a folder, notebook, pencil case, pencils, ruler, eraser, sharpener, glue stick and a pair of scissors. Cast members from Disney Store locations across the country will deliver the supply kits to their local BGCA chapters. Through this donation, Disney hopes to add a little magic to the back-to-school experience as kids nationwide prepare to return to the classroom this fall.
Though it has yet to show any sign of life beyond advertisements which began a year ago at the Disney D23 Expo and subsequent home video releases, it appears the Disney Studio All Access program is still alive and kicking behind-the-scenes only now it will be known as ‘Disney Movies Anywhere.’
Not surprisingly, Disney (NYSE:DIS) has been tight-lipped on the program, which allows customers to buy a Disney title once and then play it back across all devices from anywhere. There has been nary a mention since Robert Iger stated Disney is maintaining a ‘wait and see’ attitude in response to the launch of its main competition, UltraViolet, which has been falling way short of wowing its customers thus far.
It appears that after decades of providing spa services to guests of the Walt Disney World Resort, the ‘Vacation Kingdom’ may be preparing to part ways with Niki Bryan Spas and go with a partner it may find more agreeable — itself. Thanks to a tipster, we’ve learned that Walt Disney World has begun listing senior-level positions on its job site for titles such as ‘Spa Director,’ ‘Senior Spa Manager,’ and ‘Spa Guest Service Manager,’ suggesting the company is looking to manage the resort spas from the inside, as they are currently doing with Laniwai at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii.
After presenting its technique for cloning the human face in an effort to produce more realistic audio animatronics at SIGGRAPH, Disney Research Zurich has released this video which takes a closer look at the process, which we began discussing on here last month.
While 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.
In 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.