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Leisure Management - Disney Research: Disney unveils 'Magic Bench' mixed reality technology
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03 Aug 2017

Disney unveils 'Magic Bench' mixed reality technology

Supplier: Disney Research
More Disney Research details


Disney unveils 'Magic Bench' mixed reality technology

The Magic Bench allows users to see, hear and interact with animated characters
Disney's research and development arm has revealed a new mixed reality technology concept – a bench which allows people to see, hear and interact with virtual characters in the real world.

Unveiled at the 2017 Siggraph Tech conference, the prototype uses depth sensors from a Microsoft Kinect and an RGB camera to render an image of the bench and the users on it. This rendering is then displayed as a mirror image on an opposite screen so the user can see the virtual characters and interact with them in real time.

The experience is a simple ‘walk up and play’, requiring no special technology on the part of the user with no setup time.



"This platform creates a multi-sensory immersive experience in which a group can interact directly with an animated character," said Moshe Mahler, principal digital artist at Disney Research. "Our mantra for this project was: hear a character coming, see them enter the space, and feel them sit next to you."

One demonstrations of the technology shows a small cartoon elephant jumping up onto the bench. It then proceeds to hand the user a golden orb, which they can take from the virtual character.

The Magic Bench is capable of offering group orientated experiences, with multiple persons able to enjoy the experience at the same time.

To further enhance the experience, the bench features haptic technology corresponding with the movements of the virtual character, giving the person sitting on the bench the sense that a physical presence with weight and impact is sharing the bench with them.

Disney Research has its eyes on virtual and augmented reality, with other developments from the division including an augmented reality colouring app, where users can live map colour from a 2D colouring book onto an animated 3D model. The research team is now taking that technology beyond drawings, looking at how it can apply it to musical and educational experiences


Supplier: Disney Research
Glendale California US
Disney Research was launched in 2008 as an informal network of research labs that collaborate closely with academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH).

Web: www.disneyresearch.com
More Disney Research details

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