Disney’s Latest Patent Application: “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect”

in Disney, Theme Parks

Pepper Ghost Patent

Credit: Free Patents Online

Fans of Disney’s Haunted Mansion — Get ready for this!

Disney has just recently applied for a new patent this week for the “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect” which would be potentially used in ride vehicles in the Disney parks. It is said to be almost like a projection screen of some sort, with an optical illusion for the audience.

Let’s take a closer look.

What is the “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect”?

So what exactly is the “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect”? Well, it is actually very similar to the projection screen effect used on Disney’s Haunted Mansion at Disneyland theme park, except this new patent deals with advanced technology of this classic effect.

Related: Disney patents new “Capturepult” mechanism for water rides

Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online

The patent application describes the “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect” as:

Pepper’s Ghost is a practical visual effect that overlays an image onto a viewing surface through which another scene is visible. The image may be outputted from a projector or from an illuminated chamber onto a reflector. The reflector, in turn, projects the reflection onto a viewing surface in front of the scene as a ghosted image visible as part of the scene. By using a transparent viewing surface, a viewer may simultaneously see both the ghosted image and the objects in the scene behind the viewing surface.

So what exactly does this all mean? Well, the patent would take this “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect” and attach it to a moving ride vehicle. By doing this, it would allow the effect and optical illusion to be portable, moving through the ride with the guests.

Related: Universal files patents for new tower rides: Are they creating their own Tower of Terror?

Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online

The patent also states:

In another embodiment, the present disclosure provides auto-stereo imaging for viewing in a vehicle via a method, comprising: affixing a projector in a cabin of a vehicle, aligned to project an image inward to the cabin of the vehicle; affixing a reflector in the cabin of the vehicle relative to the projector to reflect the image outward from the cabin of the vehicle onto a window of the vehicle; determining distances and angles from the window of the vehicle to eyes of a viewer in the cabin of the vehicle; and projecting the image from the projector to the reflector to the window to the viewer based on the distances and the angles.

Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online

The vehicle may be any one of a car, a bus, a train, an airplane, a boat, or the like in which a passenger is afforded a window to look outside the vehicle. An Augmented Reality Enterainment System (ARES) is provided to the passenger as a viewer, to augment the scene visible outside of the window. The ARES employs a projector and a reflector to display imaged to the viewer overlaid over the visible scene on the window. 

So we aren’t exactly sure where Disney Parks plans on using this new optical illusion effect, but an example of what they could do is..

Related: New patents suggest upgrade for Walt Disney World projection shows

Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online

Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safari

Images in the patent show an example of what Disney Parks could use the new “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect” for. An example is on Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safari on the outside of the ride vehicle to help provide additional information to Disney guests through an optical illusion.

If used on Kilimanjaro Safari, it would be attached to the outside of the open-air vehicle and would project holographic information about the animals as you pass by to help educate Disney guests.

Related: Disney patents “scent blending” to create more immersive attractions

Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online
Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online
Pepper Ghost Patent
Credit: Free Patents Online

You can read more about the patent that Disney applied for here.

Though it is not guaranteed, it would be really cool to see Disney use the new holographic “Portable Pepper’s Ghost Effect” on its attractions.

What do you think Disney would use the new patent for? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Free Patents Online

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