Disney is constantly looking for ways to provide an even more breath-taking experience for its Guests and that can be seen in its latest patent approval.
Per our previous reporting, the Walt Disney Company was approved for a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on December 28 for a “Virtual World Simulator” that will simulate a digital world with animated characters in a real-world theme park attraction without the need for any glasses, goggles, or smartphones.
These 3D virtual effects could be used in real-world venues– like Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort– and could include animated characters along with simulated objects, props, artwork, and much more.
However, just because the technology is under patent does not mean that Disney is planning to use it anytime soon. The LA Times recently shared a statement from a Disney spokesperson who said the company “files hundreds of patents every year” and that there are no current plans to use this technology.
“We are excited about the possibilities related to this type of technology,” the Disney spokesperson said, adding that “there are no current plans to introduce this technology into an upcoming experience.”
The LA Times report points out that Disney once filed a patent in 2016 that would take photos of Guests’ shoes and gather data to customize visits. As the Guests made their way around the Parks, another camera at shoe level could recognize their shoe and provide unique experiences based on data collected voluntarily beforehand.
Patent experts pointed out that companies sometimes simply take out a patent so that the competition cannot use the same technology.
“It’s possible that they may never use it, but my sense is this is very much something they are going to commercialize,” said Ed Khalili, a patent attorney with Founders Legal.
Disney has been experimenting with VR and AR experiences for several years, like at the Star Wars: Tales From Galaxy’s Edge VR experience in Downtown Disney and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance through the innovative projector technology experienced on the ride and in the line queue, but this would seemingly be a step up from anything we’ve seen in the Disney Parks thus far.
We will have to wait and see if the technology is ever introduced in a Disney Park, but it’s clear that there are no immediate plans for it to be used at this point.
What do you think Disney Parks could do with this technology? Let us know in the comments.
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