Disney’s New Patent Could Bring a Virtual Reality Into the Real World 👀

As they say on the Carousel of Progress, “there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow,” and there are some AMAZING technological developments in the works thanks to some clever Imagineers! Remember that incredible lightsaber that Josh D’Amaro tested out during a D23 event? Or what about that preview of Project EXO that will totally change the way we interact with characters?

Josh D’Amaro with a lightsaber at Destination D23

For all you technology nerds out there, these are some exciting times! Recently, we talked about the mechanics behind Disney’s REAL lightsaber, but today we’re back to discuss Disney’s interesting new patent that has SO many possibilities! 

According to a patent recently filed by Disney Enterprises, Imagineers are interested in creating a new virtual world experience. The patent claims that Disney is working on an experience where “One or more users can advantageously experience a virtual world that is simulated by conforming virtual effects to the three-dimensional (3D) geometry of a real-world venue from the vantage point of each user.”  


There’s a LOT to unpack with this patent. For starters, it sounds like guests will immerse themselves in some kind of virtual reality, where virtual effects, such as virtual images, will “overlay an image of a real-world object.” Not only that, but the patent lays out the claim that multiple guests will be able to participate at the same time thanks to a proprietary automated system.

To break it down, this likely means that Disney will be using some sort of projection mapping system and/or virtual reality system to place an image on a real-world object. What might be a solid, blank cylindrical block in real life could look like a complex Star Wars device or could even become a projection surface for a character. The system will allow the virtual world to look realistic from different vantage points too, think of a more advanced, close-up version of the nighttime projections on Cinderella Castle.


We also discovered an interesting detail briefly mentioned in the patent that could give us a hint of what this patent will be used for! In one section of the claim, the language describes a handheld device that guests may use during the virtual experience. Further down, the patent defines the handheld device as a projection device!


Claim 10 in Disney’s patent hints that the projection device will “simulate a virtual-world by conforming the identified virtual effects to the geometry of the real-world venue from a present vantage point of the tracked moving perspective.” Then, in claim 11, the language gets more specific, hinting that the projection device may be a 3D map that follows your movement! This would allow the system to make sure it’s adjusting to your view and keeping things realistic for you.


This patent is FULL of details;  is anyone else already speculating what this technology may be used for? Could it be Marvel-related? On the other hand, that handheld projection device certainly sounds like something out of the Star Wars universe. There are endless possibilities! If you ask us, this certainly reminds us of our theory that the Play Pavilion that’s coming to EPCOT could have a Virtual Reality focus!

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Want to learn more about our Play Pavilion Virtual Reality thoughts? Click here!

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What do you think this patent could be used for? Let us know in the comments!

The post Disney’s New Patent Could Bring a Virtual Reality Into the Real World 👀 first appeared on the disney food blog.