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The House of Mouse Could Be Headed for the Metaverse

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Photo: Roberto Machado Noa (Getty Images)

The metaverse could also be headed to a Disney theme park close to you.

Disney acquired approval for a “virtual-world simulator” patent shortly earlier than the new 12 months, in line with a lately surfaced submitting with the U.S. Patent Office. The know-how could be used to mission 3-D photos on real-world objects to create interactive visitor experiences all through its parks with out the want for a wearable headset or cellular gadget. If you’re unfamiliar, we name that sort of bridge between the bodily world and the digital one the metaverse, a.okay.a. Silicon Valley’s newest buzzword.

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Disney already employs augmented actuality know-how for large-scale leisure at its theme parks, reminiscent of utilizing projection mapping to deliver its forged of characters to life on storefronts, waterfalls, and different real-world constructions. But this new know-how would have a considerably completely different scale: It would observe particular person park guests to personalize the projections they see on close by objects and partitions. For instance, a household strolling by a storefront might see Mickey Mouse greet them as they go.

If the House of Mouse does incorporate the metaverse into its parks, it doubtless received’t occur anytime quickly. Disney officers advised the Los Angeles Times that the firm has no speedy plans to make use of the virtual-world simulator know-how outlined in its patent.

“We are excited about the possibilities related to this type of technology,” a Disney spokesperson advised the outlet, including that “there are no current plans to introduce this technology into an upcoming experience.” The spokesperson additionally emphasised that Disney “files hundreds of patents each year as we explore developing technologies.”

However, as Insider factors out, incorporating the metaverse into its theme parks would definitely observe with Disney’s formidable purpose to inform tales by a “three-dimensional canvas.” CEO Bob Chapek detailed this imaginative and prescient throughout Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings name:

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“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,” Chapek mentioned.

It’s price noting that companies as large as Disney have a historical past of securing patents simply to maintain opponents from getting their first, which can very properly be the case right here.

“It’s possible that they may never use it, but my sense is this is very much something they are going to commercialize,” mentioned Ed Khalili, a patent lawyer with Founders Legal, in an interview with the LA Times.

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