Disney patents headset-less AR for theme park rides – Orange County Register


Disney has taken another step towards creating a virtual metaverse at Disneyland that would allow the entertainment giant to simulate a digital world with animated characters in a real-world theme park attraction.

The Walt Disney Company was granted a patent on December 28 from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a virtual world simulator that allows multiple users to experience a 3D virtual world from multiple points of view without glasses, glasses or digital devices. .

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Disney’s patent takes digital simulation beyond virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) with the new virtual world (VW).

Disney’s virtual world simulator creates a realistic and highly immersive 3D virtual experience without requiring the user to wear an AR headset or use an AR-enabled smartphone, according to the patent.

Disney’s patented virtual world simulator is said to create 3D images using multiple projectors capable of generating a high rate of frames per second.

The virtual world simulator would use a SLAM technique – which stands for Simultaneous Locating and Mapping – to continuously track the ever-changing perspective of a visitor moving through a real-world location such as a theme park attraction.

The 3D virtual effects projected by Disney’s virtual world simulator in real-world locations could include animated characters as well as simulated objects, props and artwork, according to the patent.

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Disney wants to introduce virtual world simulations to real-world locations like Disneyland and Walt Disney World, according to Founders Legal’s patent and technology adviser John DeStefano.

“Rather than looking through a phone screen or headphones, Disney has developed a system almost similar to a movie projector to project onto a real surface what humans see on a screen,” DeStefano told Spectrum News. “It’s more of a real world experience than looking at it through a phone. “

Disneyland has already tried video projection technology during the “Mickey’s Mix Magic” fireworks display with the images seen on the facades of Main Street USA and simulated holographic images with Rey’s hologram displayed during the mission briefing in the first pre-show hall of the Rise of the Resistance attraction.

Visitors to Universal Studios Japan wear themed augmented reality glasses for the Mario Kart ride at Super Nintendo World earlier this year. A version of Super Nintendo World and the merry-go-round are under construction at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Photo by Philip Fong, AFP via Getty Images)

Universal Studios Japan showcased the Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge augmented reality racing car ride when the world’s first Super Nintendo World-themed terrain opened in March 2021.

Mario Kart racers navigate familiar racing circuits and Mushroom Kingdom worlds while throwing Koopa seashells at their opponents or objects along the road. AR helmets with visor screens designed to resemble Mario’s distinctive cap allow racers to see the video game-style action unfold against physical backdrops and projection screens.

The Mario Kart AR ride is set to be the flagship attraction of the upcoming new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood. No opening date has been announced for Nintendo’s new land at Hollywood Theme Park.

The new Secret Life of Pets dark ride at Universal Studios Hollywood lets riders see themselves as pets on video screens scattered throughout the attraction. The pets on the next generation augmented reality video screens mimic the hand gestures and facial expressions of riders.

SEE ALSO: Disney’s R&D team imagines a theme park filled with augmented reality costumes

Disney has long been a proponent of augmented reality rather than virtual reality – which excludes the physical world and immerses the user in a virtual world similar to a video game.

Disney parks largely avoided the first wave of VR gadgets that took to theme parks when Six Flags and Cedar Fair introduced VR headsets on aging roller coasters in an effort to refresh the rides.

Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios use AR training to teach Rise of the Resistance ride operators how to load and unload premier fleet transport vehicles and use the attraction dispatch board.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida has been testing a new Windows Experience on the Wild AR Experience with its Animal Safari Expedition. The pilot program combined advanced radar technology with camera monitors hidden in jungle foliage and aerial drone footage to allow visitors to see the animals on the safari up close.

Disney’s research and development arm has developed augmented reality technology that could allow visitors to don the AR costumes of their favorite superheroes and princesses in the parks for snapshot memories.

Disney appears to be accelerating the development of Virtual World Simulator technology for short-term deployment, according to Founders Legal patent attorney Yuri Eliezer.

“Disney thinks more are going to step into this space,” Eliezer told Spectrum News. “They want to make sure they get that patent first.”

SEE ALSO: Can augmented reality help theme parks recover from the pandemic?

Disney showcased a vision of a theme park metaverse filled with converging experiences during a web presentation at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Virtual Education Conference in November. 2020.

Disney’s theme park metaverse would connect digital elements, data and physical elements into a “virtually enhanced physical reality and a physically persistent virtual space,” according to the presentation.


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