Disney and magic are virtually synonymous. Not only in the ethereal sense, but also when it comes to the art of illusion as performed by stage magicians for centuries. Practical illusions have found their way into countless films, television programs, theme park attractions and — especially — theatrical stage productions. The very same illusion that leaves millions of annual visitors to the Haunted Mansion mystified is actually a centuries-old theatrical effect known as Pepper’s ghost. And while it’s easy enough to produce illusions in films and television outside the reaches of the camera frame, it takes a little bit more ingenuity to have Mary Poppins pull one impossibly large object after another from a small carpet bag on stage in front of a live audience.
Betcha on land they understand that you can hide the mechanisms that control your puppet, but it’s a totally different story under the sea. With beloved characters like Ariel from The Little Mermaid and popular franchises like Finding Nemo (and its upcoming sequel, Finding Dory), being able to present the characters as tangible puppets in their true native habitat would go a long way to creating magic, but the requirements of visible rods and other manipulators only serve to take away from the experience. Instead, Disney has relied on using computer generated imagery and projection to simulate combining its intellectual property with real world aquatic elements such as the Living Seas with Nemo and Friends at Epcot.
While Adam Aron, the CEO of movie theater chain AMC Theatres, recently caused himself a bit of internet backlash by suggesting that some seating sections should be designated texting zones, Disney is working behind the scenes to make something like this happen.
Disney has actually experimented with a product they call ‘Second Screen’ before with special organized showings of The Little Mermaid and The Nightmare Before Christmas which encouraged theatergoers to being their iOS device to the show and supplement the film with interactive games and trivia as audience members compete for the highest score, but this is not that.
There’s no arguing that the advent of 3D printers has revolutionized the way we do things in a way that impacts virtually every one, either directly or not. From rapid prototype development, to affordable consumer models, to toys marketed to children that mimic the process, 3D printers have firmly ingrained themselves in the way business is conducted in today’s world. And like most other forms of technology, the 3D Printer continues to evolve in all sorts of ways, such as offering full color printing as well as printing edible meals.
iCertainty and Zebra Technologies Corporation today announced plans to further license technology developed by Disney dubbed CHEFS (Computerized HACCP Enhanced Food Safety). At its core, the technology employs wireless temperature probes with Zebra’s MC40 mobile devices and iCertainty’s software to offer real-time monitoring of food temperatures, creating alerts when health concerns due to internal temperatures fall out of their respective safety zones. In addition to the immediate health benefits, the system also permits food preparers to rely on a manual process of documenting everything on paper for auditing purposes.
Nearly four years ago, we first talked about a patented process being developed by Disney in order to make cakes appear to be interactive using projection mapping, a technique oft favored nowadays by Walt Disney Imagineering. But now it’s Disney Fairy Tale Weddings who have seen the projected light as they demonstrate in this newly released video offering a sample of what they can deliver couples at their Disney weddings.
Everyone knows drones are where it’s at. Whether you’re looking to deliver packages to customers’ doorsteps, target and destroy someone from thousands of miles away or looking to entertain thousands of guests, you’ll need an army of drones.
Thanks to a series of recently published patent applications, we now have an idea of where Walt Disney Imagineering is headed with future plans for night-time entertainment to take place over lagoons (which are specifically mentioned in the applications), although the technology can be applied virtually anywhere.
After highly (and not-so-highly) publicized events in which at Walt Disney World’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ both a man and a child suffered finger lacerations/partial loss and even going back to an incident in 2005 where a child lost part of his thumb on Disneyland’s ‘Storybook Land Canal Boats,’ a patent application has been published that hopes to reduce — if not eliminate — such injuries. The unfortunate aspect, however, is that the original filing date for the application, titled ‘Dynamic Roll/Pitch Stabilizer for Use During Loading and Unloading of Small Passenger Boats’ is February 12, 2013 — long before the recent ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ incidents.
It should be painfully obvious what the image to the left is demonstrating, but do indulge us and allow us to explain just the same. Pictured here is the primary drawing from a recently published patent application titled ‘Chin Strap Sensor for Triggering Control of Walk-Around Characters’ (20140106642) by Walt Disney Imagineering’s Holger Irmler.
The design, which centers around a chest strap, aims to resolve current obstacles in producing a walking, talking, interacting meet and greet character for theme parks, presumably by making the operator even less comfortable in the process. While significant achievements have been made in bringing interactive and animated characters to life, there are still some ongoing challenges.
Parents, hide your vases and horse statues, you are about to receive a midi-chlorian infestation of the highest order. Just published today is a US Patent application titled ‘Immersive Storytelling Environment’ (US20140080109) and it’s a pretty amazing read. While the Disney buzzwords STORY and IMMERSIVE are generally reserved for the Disney theme parks, it appears as though Walt Disney Imagineering is now aiming for the home market.