Disney signals a potential stab at the Metaverse by filing a “virtual-world simulator” with the U.S Patent Office.
The concept comprises a computing platform with memory storing a software code, a tracking system linked to the computing platform in conjunction with a projection device.
Meaning, in the not too distant future, theme park visitors may soon be exploring the Metaverse via a headset-less augmented reality.
Although the California-based media conglomerate is not known as a tech firm, recent events have shifted Disney in that direction. Most notably, as a streaming platform competing directly with Netflix.
Metaverse development still has a long way to go
Along with Web3.0, the metaverse is widely tipped as the next big thing in tech. This narrative is not lost on investors and users who see opportunities in this burgeoning space.
Asia Business Editor at the FT, Leo Lewis, spoke of his excitement for that one “knockout brilliant product” that will revolutionize the space. Similar to what Apple did with smartphones all those years ago.
“There’s a lot of hope attached to the idea that Apple might come up with a pair of goggles that do for VR headsets or that kind of technology, what Apple did back in the mid 2000s for smartphones, ie, you know, sort of creating a whole new market that’s sort of based on one knockout brilliant product.”
However, Lewis conceded that the hardware currently isn’t up to scratch to deliver an experience fitting what he described.
Disney CEO cagey about the rollout
In a bid to bring about that knockout experience, Disney gives a glimpse of what may be in store for theme park visitors.
A recent patent filing shows a technology that would project 3D images and virtual world effects onto physical spaces. This encompasses user tracking to provide a tailored individual experience.
This idea differs from existing Metaverse interfaces in that it doesn’t require a headset to experience. The filing states headsets are inconvenient, require regular sanitation, and cannot offer shared experiences.
“Consequently, there is a need in the art for a solution enabling one or more users to experience an immersive simulation of a 3D virtual-world that is accurately rendered according to the vantage point of each user.”
Commenting on the concept, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the technology aligns well with what the firm is known for – storytelling.
“Our efforts to date are merely a prologue to a time when we’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling without boundaries in our own Disney metaverse.”
Nonetheless, Chapek refused to confirm whether the “virtual-world simulator” will ever see the light of day. He added that Disney files hundreds of patents a year to explore technologies.
But with high expectations of the Metaverse, is this an opportunity Disney can ill afford to miss?
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