By: Amy Kawa
Disney has published two patents in the last week that give us an exciting look at some immersive technology being worked on.
The first patent describes the ability to allow guests the opportunity to have their own lightsabers! There’s a lot of mumbo technical jumbo, but essentially how it works is guests will hold a physical hilt that contains motion and sound censors and through the use of some display (i.e. your smart phone, a visor, etc.), you’ll see the lightsaber overlay, which the guest will also be able to pick the blade’s color, length, etc. The lightsaber will also, of course, make those signature lightsaber “whooshing” sounds. From there, the lightsabers will be able to interact with each other and their surroundings, encountering and interacting with virtual objects.
The second patent is for “location-based experiences with interactive merchandise” (Disney). This patent displays a guest entering a “player zone” and the merchandise will then be used in this zone to interact with virtual targets created in a “theatrical zone,” part of the room in which the “player zone” is also located. The use of cameras, RFID, lights, and other sensors will enhance the play and generate additional effects. Multiple players can use multiple pieces of merchandise in the same game, and the system will also keep score and historical results, making each game play unique to each guest based on their past skill level.
Dreamer Amy’s Take: The potential for this kind of technology is so amazingly exciting! It has been one of my lifelong dreams to be able to build and then use my own lightsaber. Then, add in the opportunity to use the force in that second interactive area would just be the icing on the cake for me and so many Star Wars fans like me. Imagine the possibilities outside of the world of Star Wars too! Here’s hoping Disney can take these patents and make them into reality!
Photo courtesy of Nerdist