We know that Disney are always pushing the boundaries in technology in its theme parks. In the past 10 years we have seen advancements in mobile technology from Pal Mickey, the testing of the Nintendo DS park guides, Kim Possible and Verizon’s Mobile Magic but none of that comes close to what Disney Research in Pittsburgh are working on right now.

According to a MotionBeam Paper

“The vision of Augmented Reality (AR) is to seamlessly merge virtual content into the physical world. Typical
approaches to AR make use of intermediary displays through which the user views the augmented environment. Handheld projectors have the advantage of situating virtual content side by side with physical objects in almost any space. Their size allows users to grasp them in a single hand, attach them to their bodies, or move them from space to space.”

“One of the major challenges when dealing with handheld projectors is to develop interaction techniques that
accommodate movement. Projected imagery moves, shakes, and distorts with the user’s every move. We present a novel interaction metaphor, labeled MotionBeam, which uses the movement of the projection device to control and interact with projected characters (Figure 1). Our work draws from the tradition of pre-cinema handheld projectors that use direct physical manipulation to control projected imagery. Rather than attempt to mitigate the effects of projector movement, we seek to encourage it by using the projector
as a gestural input device.”

Figure 1

It is all well and good us quoting some technical jargon about just what this device may do but there is no better way to demonstrate it than to show you a video

Imagine this becoming part of a new attraction, Forget 3D or touch pad technology. Imagine getting in to a ride vehicle with one of these projectors attached to each seat and incorporating Disney characters into scenes that trigger effects or interact with scenes.

Disney have always been keen on developing new, interactive technologies and this seems to be the next step. What do you think? Would you like to see this new technology? How would you implement it in to the Disney Parks? We’d love to hear your ideas.

To find out more about the new technology you can visit http://www.motion-beam.com/ or you can look at the MotionBeam Paper here.