WATCH: Disney Research Prints Teddy Bears on Demand

Disney Research along with Scott Hudson of Carnegie Mellon’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute have demonstrated how it’s possible to print soft, interactive objects using new 3D printers. No longer restricted using rigid materials such as plastics, new 3D printers can digitally print objects made of softer materials, such as wool and wool blend yarn.

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PATENT: Walking and Talking Characters for Theme Parks (Spoilers)

Chin Strap Sensor for Triggering Control of Walk-Around CharactersIt 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.

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Disney Patent Application for ‘Star Wars’ Game Brings Videogames Into Real World

'Immersive Storytelling Environment'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.

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‘Disney Movies Anywhere’ Trademark Registrations for Mobile App

'D' Trademark for Audio/Video ServicesPictured here is the illustration used in several recently filed trademark applications filed by The Walt Disney Company. Just from the looks of it, three things are very clear: (1) it prominently features the Disney ‘D’ logo; (2) it contains a portion of what appears to be a filmstrip; and (3) the shape and outline of the illustration strongly suggests a mobile app, be it iOS, Android or both.

More importantly, the illustration accompanied several trademark applications for the following uses:

  • Authentication, issuance, and validation of digital certificates and codes; Computer security services in the nature of providing an internet trust center, namely, computer security assurance and administration of digital certificates and codes

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Disney Films Available for Streaming on M-GO Service and iPad App

M-GO, a digital movie rental/purchase streaming service announced today that it has entered into a content licensing agreement with The Walt Disney Studios. The deal provides M-GO users with access to a selection of films as they become available, including favorites from Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney/Pixar, Marvel Studios and DreamWorks Studios. Effective immediately, consumers can begin streaming and/or downloading new releases such as Marvel’s Iron Man 3, Marvel’s The Avengers, Monsters University and Disney’s Planes. In addition, just in time for holiday travel, M-GO has also launched M-GO To GO, an iTunes app which gives consumers the freedom to watch digital movies offline on their iPad — including the new iPad Air. Other devices such as some television models, Android devices and computers are also supported.

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For ‘Talking Mickey,’ Speech is Just the Tip of Technological Iceberg (Magic Spoilers)

'Simulated Conversation by Pre-Recorded Audio Navigator'The official Disney Parks blog today announced that commencing today — and barring any technical issues — Mickey Mouse will not only be meeting and greeting with guests at the Magic Kingdom, but conversing them as well, marking a new major milestone in a very lengthy history of attempting to bring characters to life in all new ways ahead of full NextGen technology implementation.

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Disney Research’s Method for Electricity from Paper

Disney Research: Paper as Electrical SourceDisney Research and Carnegie Mellon University today published its findings on how its team was able to produce and harvest electrical energy through by rubbing and even tapping specially formulated paper and a method so simple, even a child can reproduce it — as demonstrated by the sample video.

The only special requirement for the electrical generator is a thin, flexible sheet of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), commonly known as Teflon. That sheet is then placed between two conductive layers, such as sheets of metallized polyester, that serve as electrodes.

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Disney’s Infrared Projection Stops Ride Photo ‘Theft,’ Adds Haunted Mansion ‘Ghostbusting’

Infrared Imaging Projection by DisneyMore than three years ago, Stitch Kingdom broke the news that Disney was looking into a way to control what it considered a viable threat: abuse of refillable mugs. The news caused an uproar across the internet sparking further debate over a topic that had already been debated immeasurable times before. While some recognized it was a long day coming, many argued that it really wasn’t worth Disney’s time and effort to implement such a system, while others plotted on how to get around it just based on the patent application. Three years later, the Walt Disney World Resort has introduced its ‘Rapid Fill’ program which, in effect, does exactly what the company set out to do.

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‘AIREAL’ by Disney Research Brings 4D Haptic Experience to Gaming

AIREAL by Disney ResearchDisney Research today unveiled AIREAL, a low-cost, highly scalable solution that aims to fill an increasing void in gaming by bring tactile feedback to motion-responsive controllers, such as the Microsoft Kinect.

While traditional gaming controllers often use vibration to provide haptic feedback to gamers, those using controllers that respond to physical movement haven’t been afforded that luxury until now.

The AIREAL uses a (mostly) 3D printed vortex generator that uses speakers whose diaphragms are activated, pushing air out of the device. By alternating patterns and lengths, the tactile feedback can vary depending on the player’s situation and expectations. Furthermore, the AIREAL system is scalable, allowing an array of them to be used in situations to provide feedback in true three dimensional space.

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Disney Patent Seeks to Ease Airport Security Checkpoint Woes

Disney's Airport Security Screening SystemSometimes it just takes a mouse to build a better mousetrap.

They may never be described as being happy or magical, but if Disney has any say about it, airport security screening areas may become a lot more traveler friendly by addressing checkpoint congestion issues by moving much of the process outside of it.

The existing problem, according to the patent application, is that complying with existing TSA policies is time consuming, with travelers needing to spend most of their time in lines by removing and isolating certain objects from their carry-ons, cleaning out pockets, removing shoes, etc. The process gets exponentially more difficult when families have small children who need additional assistance, slowing down the process and creating a chain-reaction, directly affecting other passengers.

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