Multinational entertainment giant Disney received a patent for a “virtual world simulator” in the last week of December 2021. This can be used to create custom interactive attractions for theme park visitors. The technology will enable the use of headset-free augmented reality (AR) attractions at Disney theme parks. Visitors to Disney theme parks will also have the opportunity to visit the Metaverse.
The technology described in the patent is noisy LA Times It is not intended for a large audience, but rather follows individual visitors in parks and projects images especially for them on nearby objects, buildings and walls. Imagine that you walk in front of a normal wall in Disneyland Paris and all of a sudden Mickey Mouse appears and waves at you.
This is a novelty in the sense that the term “metaverse” used to refer to something that exists on the internet and can be accessed using virtual reality (VR) or AR headsets. However, the technology proposed by Disney would bring the Metaverse to the physical world. There were already signs that Disney wanted to interconnect the two worlds. In November 2020, Tilak Mandadi, chief strategy officer for Disney Resorts, announced in a LinkedIn post that he was striving to merge the digital and physical worlds.
I call this concept the “theme park metaverse” – this is where the physical and digital worlds merge, with wearable devices, smartphones, and digital access points allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the metaverse. These experiences […] they are unique, but also social and networked. They are constantly changing, so there is always something new to discover.
, Mandadi describes Disney’s vision. It remains to be seen if this will (and should) actually be called Metaverse at the end; so far, the Disney version sounds more like augmented reality. And that has been around for a long time.
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