Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

“The Optimist,” developed by Walt Disney Imagineering, is the latest take on the multi-platform experience known as the alternate reality game (ARG). Linked to the Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird film due in 2014 called “Tomorrowland,” the new ARG is part of Disney’s efforts to create new interactive experiences that place its audience members directly in the action and reach beyond the niche ARG audience to attract more people. Continue reading Walt Disney Imagineering Redefining Alternate Reality Games

Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun

Our community member Lee Lanselle of the Entertainment Development Group and AsiaParks Partners Limited forwarded interesting news regarding how theme parks are ensuring that guests are not bored while waiting in long lines. Disneyland, Universal Studios and Six Flags are among those that have incorporated interactive elements, animatronic characters, and even play areas for kids so that park attendees can be entertained while they wait in line for a ride. Continue reading Waiting in Long Lines at Theme Parks Can Actually Be Fun

SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Disney Research has created a haptic, or touch feedback, system that uses bursts of air. The AIREAL system simulates touch, or tactile sensation, in three-dimensional empty space. The haptic feedback can be applied to countless applications and situations, and may offer new ways for users to interact with their devices. The concept is to make touchless experiences, such as motion and gesture control, a physical interaction. This will ultimately give the user a more natural, touch-like perception. Continue reading SIGGRAPH: Disney Creates Air-Based Touch Feedback System

Are there Other Media Applications for Military VR and 3D Tech?

  • Quantum 3D has created virtual reality technology for soldiers to train for battle wearing 3D glasses equipped with screens.
  • “Trainees are 100 percent immersed in the battlefield, while actually prowling around the conference room, gymnasium, or parking lot,” reports KNTV/NBC (includes video).
  • This opens some interesting possibilities for general training, education, and theme park applications.
  • In related news, IEE Inc. has integrated its 4.8-inch 800×400 military data display with 3M’s autostereoscopic film for a glasses-free 3D display that allows running of custom apps (terrain mapping, remote robotics control, enhanced video feeds, and training environments).
  • Key design elements include its small size, high resolution and LED backlight technology. The new display “decreases off-axis image reversals and color distortions, a common concern in the use of 3D technologies, and can easily be switched to 2D with imagery comparable to modern day smart phones,” according to the press release.

Disney and James Cameron to Bring Avatar to Theme Parks

  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide has announced a deal with filmmaker James Cameron and producer Jon Landau to bring “Avatar”-themed lands to its parks.
  • The first attraction is expected to start construction in the Animal Kingdom of Orlando’s Disney World by 2013.
  • Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment will consult with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the attractions, which will eventually be built in Disney’s international locations as well.
  • “The parks will not only play off the huge hit movie which dominated the box office for months in 2010, but also benefit from the release to two more movies now in pre-production,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Cameron has announced plans to release those movies at Christmas 2014 followed by the second at Christmas 2015.”
  • “‘Avatar’ created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new ‘Avatar’ films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our ‘Avatar’ universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of ‘Avatar’ with an unprecedented sense of reality.”