WATCH: Disney’s ‘Playmation’ Merges Marvel, Star Wars Wearable Tech with Toys and The Cloud

Disney Playmation Starter PackDisney Consumer Products today unveiled Playmation, a new form of the toys-to-life category that combines connected toys, wearable tech and cloud technology to provide updates as needed.

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WATCH: Disney Research’s BeachBot Has More Fun in the Sun Than You

Disney Research BeachBotAs evidenced by the screenshot from its introduction video — in which it is in mid-Nemo drawing form after completing Mickey Mouse — Disney Research’s BeachBot knows how to have fun when it comes to creating two-dimensional art on a difficult surface such as the beach.

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WATCH: ‘Lucid Dreams of Gabriel’ Experimental Short by Disney Research

It’s a tad beyond the expected release date of August, but Disney Research has now released its 10 1/2 minute long short, Lucid Dreams of Gabriel, which you can find embedded below. Because the film is shot at a frame rate of 120 fps, Disney Research advises watching it only at HD (720, 1080) resolution to get the full effect.

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Disney Research’s ‘FeelCraft’ Brings 4D Attractions to the Home

'FeelCraft' by Disney ResearchAlthough the fourth dimension is time, it hasn’t stopped amusement parks from hijacking the term as a way of saying they’ve plussed traditional 3D movies by adding a new ‘dimension’ of effects. Usually these effects involve dropping things on the audience such as cold water to simulate breaking glass (followed by warm water to simulate the blood from all the sliced skin), fog, bubbles and — most of all — haptic feedback right from the very seat the audience member is sitting in. Whether it’s mice running past your feet or bugs crawling under your butt, tactile feedback is big in the amusement park experience, especially when virtually anyone can bring the 3D experience home.

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WATCH: Disney Introduces Interactive Cakes to Fairytale Wedding Couples

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.

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PATENT: Disney to Use Drones for Night-Time Entertainment

Drone controlled marionetteEveryone 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.

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PATENT: Disney’s Plans to Make ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Safer

Dynamic Roll/Pitch Stabilizer for Use During Loading and Unloading of Small Passenger BoatsAfter 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.

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CONFIRMED? Tower of Terror PhotoPass Video First Step in MyMagic+ Video/Photo Story Packages

Over two years ago, we first talked about a ‘Story Telling’ patent application that would integrate with Disney Parks and Resorts’ MyMagic+ system and today we are getting our first hints of it becoming a reality. The official Disney Parks blog has shared news that Disney Photo Imaging’s PhotoPass system will now allow guests who have purchased the Memory Maker package to automatically receive video of their journey — or drop — on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort via their linked MagicBand.

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Disney Research: 3D Personalized Figure Creation Process Just Got Hairy

Disney Research 'Stylized Hair Capture'Disney Research Zurich, along with the University of Zaragoza, have now shared the results of their ‘Stylized Hair Capture’ project. The aim of the project is to improve upon the already popular trend of custom 3D printed figures which have traditionally been limited to facial scans being plastered onto an existing model, neglecting any other personal attribute. The ‘Stylized Hair Capture’ project sets out to improve on the fad with the intent of capturing the individual as they appear that day, right down to their individual hair style and color. The demo video — embedded below — even goes as far as to show that any object with hair- or fur-like texture, such as a stuffed animal, can be scanned in digitally and faithfully recreated as a result.

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Disney Research’s Spin-It Turns Objects of Any Shape Into Child’s Play

'Spin-It' From Disney ResearchDuring the ACM Conference on Computer Graphics & Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) event taking place August 10-14, 2014, Disney Research Zurich will present its Spin-It project, designed to optimize the moment of inertia for spinnable objects. In short, it’s a proven method for making balancing toys such as yo-yos and spinning tops.

If you were to ask a dozen people to close their eyes and imagine the traditional spinning top or yo-yo, chances are they’d all visualize the same shape of the object. This is because the objects’ shapes are already designed to perform their desired task — that is to say that the mass is equally distributed across the object, so it’s perfectly balanced. But what if you wanted to spin or yo-yo an object that wasn’t perfectly symmetrical and balanced? What if, for example, you wanted to spin a top shaped like an elephant?

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