Patent: Disney Virtual Pets Travel Globe in Real Life

Traveling Virtual PetWith the ‘Traveling Virtual Pet Game System’ (U.S. Patent Application 20110070935), inventor Damon R. Beggs hopes to bring the perpetual successes of the virtual pet into the 21st century, allowing it to travel the world (and beyond) all while in the palm of your hand.

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Patent Says Simulated Floor System is Snow Problem

Whether your clothing shop is planning on an extravagant ‘Christmas in July’ pre-winter sale, you’re creating a new theme park attraction or perhaps even a Ski Lodge DVC resort, consider this new patent for Disney Enterprises which looks at creating a flooring system that simulates natural environments such as snow.

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Disney Patent: ‘Let Them Eat Interactive Cake’

Disney's Interactive Cake PatentWatch a few hours of the Food Network or The Learning Channel and it becomes clear that cake decorating is big business nowadays. Regular folk are willing to shell out thousands of dollars on special occasions to receive hand-sculpted, personalized baked goods that often appear to defy the laws of physics. Extreme elements can include non-edible elements added to the cake such as LEDs or moving parts designed to produce oohs and ahhs from the audience about to eat it.

HOW BORING!

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Patent: Disney’s Newest Performers Got Strings to Hold Them Down, Make Them Fret, Make Them Frown

Let’s face it, audio animatronic figures are just a passing fad. Sure they look and move in realistic fashions, even so much as being able to appear to walk steps or be able to twirl a lasso, but it all comes at a high cost — literally and figuratively. They’re expensive to design and create, require expensive maintenance and heavy and large platforms and have extremely limited mobility. And that’s coming from one of the leaders in robotic development at Disney Research, Lanny Smoot. Smoot, Imagineer Gary Schnuckle and Timothy Caldwell are the driving forces behind a new patent application which seeks out the next generation of reliable, consistent, automated performances and they just might have found the answer for 2010 in technology whose origins have been traced as far back as 2000 B.C. — marionettes.

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Patent Watch: Disney’s World of Color, Dance Ring Video Game

Disney's fluid effects apparatusWe have a couple of interesting patent applications from Disney Enterprises to share with you today, although the first one up, arguably the more interesting of the two, is not the lightest read imagineable.

Probably the most difficult aspect of digesting this patent application is that all the talk of water constantly makes us need to visit the bathroom, but out of jest, it appears that this could be some of the technology behind the new World of Color show at Disney California Adventure.

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Disney Patent Roundup: Articulated Character Heads, Smokeless Fireworks and Who Moved My Chair?

When it rains, it pours; now it’s raining cats and dogs and we just stepped in a poodle. Unfortunately there’s no web rim shot patent to share with you today, but out of several patent applications we came across from Disney Enterprises this morning, there’s a few we thought were worth sharing with you all. You can thank us later since there’s no patent here for instant gratuity either.

First up is a patent whose fruit will be very familiar to most of us by now as it played a part in the famous Talking Mickey Mouse episode although you may not recognize it at first.

Character Articulated Head System, Front and BackFrom inventors Tim Eck, William Wiedefeld, David Hynds, Jeffrey Schenck, William Brasher and Brendan MacDonald comes a new take on a new classic: the articulated character heads. This is not the original patent that covers the heads featured in the stage shows at the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks, but rather a newer type of head/system that makes the interactive character scenario more plausible.

Titled ‘Method and System for Articulated Character Head Actuation and Control,’ the patent application is two-fold. First, it attempts to seek out the first major problem with the now-antiquated heads: noise. According to the patent, even when the old heads weren’t actually moving, they were prone to generating an audible standby noise. It appears that by ‘simply’ upgrading the quality of the motors and servos et al, that the noise is minimized to a whisper-quiet level, allowing the heads to safely articulate even in close environments with audience members (guests).

(more…)

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Disney Patent Aims to Create New Generation of Guitar Superheroes

Possible embodiment of musical instrument edutainment systemThere’s just no denying the success of video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band (even to the point of successful ports to the iPhone), but when it comes right down to it, they’re nothing like playing actual instruments. Instead, the plastic ‘guitar’ one holds is nothing more than a glorified typical video game controller with a bunch of colored buttons. Hardly beneficial to anyone who wishes to learn the real thing.

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Disney Patent Application Lays Groundwork for End of Refillable Mugs at WDW Resorts

Today a finger scan facilitates your entry into one of the Disney theme parks, but in the age of tomorrow, it may help to quench your thirst. So suggests a new patent application from Disney which describes a ‘Self-Service Beverage and Snack Dispensing Using Identity-Based Access Control’ system.

Calling out shortcomings in existing systems such as customers being able to obtain unlimited refills from self-serve beverage dispensers (as Walt Disney World has introduced to a limited number of counter service dining locations) to potential concerns with the Refillable Mugs currently available for purchase at the Walt Disney World Resorts (such as losing the mug, toting the mug back and forth and cleanliness issues), the proposed system allows for either unlimited or controlled refills with any cup/vessel using token-based authentication.

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Patent Reveals Disney Had ‘Talking Mickey’ Technology for Almost 20 Years

Patent drawing for voice transformation used in a theme park characterWhat could be more surprising than walking into a room and having Mickey Mouse talk to you? How about the fact that Disney has been sitting on the technology for well over a decade?

There was little surprise yesterday about how quickly the YouTube video of a Talking Mickey character test at Disneyland garnered attention, turning just a few dozen views from when we first reported it to tens of thousands less than a day later, but realizing that there would have to at least be a patent application somewhere before the technology was debuted, we set out to find the source of the marveling magic.

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Disney Granted US Patent to Help ESPN Keep a Few Electronic Eyes on Athletes

Using a potential combination of RFID and/or ultra-wide band (UWB) technologies, US Patent #,7671,802 provides a method for tracking the on-field locations of athletes and sports equipment (including fast-moving and rapid direction-changing items such as hockey pucks) in real-time.

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