Disney is always looking for new ways to bring Guests more into the magic than they have ever been. Recently, more immersive worlds like Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge have brought Guests to an entirely new planet, and rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in EPCOT have shrunk them down to the size of a rat. However, with those experiences, Guests all see the same thing, but now Disney wants to change that and make each Guests’ trip to its theme parks even more individualized.
Disney has just received a patent for its very own metaverse. Now, what does that mean, and what are they planning to do with that patent?
What is a metaverse?
The big question that people may be asking is “what is a metaverse”. Here is a straightforward explanation of a metaverse from USA Today:
It’s a combination of multiple elements of technology, including virtual reality, augmented reality and video where users “live” within a digital universe. Supporters of the metaverse envision its users working, playing and staying connected with friends through everything from concerts and conferences to virtual trips around to the world.
What Will Disney’s Metaverse Be?
Disney knows that every Guest is different when it comes to the things they love about Disney. Some people love Tinkerbell, some love the classic Fab 5 characters — Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and Donald Duck — and some love Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Disney wants to take this new patent and customize each Guests experience by projecting 3D images and virtual effects into the Guests’ physical space.
Business Insider explains more about how Disney’s “virtual world simulator” patent will work:
Instead of being designed for mass entertainment, the device would track individual park visitors to personalize the projections. For example, while one family may see Mickey Mouse greeting them by a hot-dog stand, another group could interact with Princess Belle and Cinderella.
The technology aligns with the brand’s goal to tell stories through a “three-dimensional canvas” as highlighted by CEO Bob Chapek during Disney’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
When Will We See This Technology In Action?
The simple answer is, not for quite a while. When Mark Zuckerberg spoke about Facebook — now Meta — creating a metaverse, he said they were 5-10 years out from it being something tangible, and Disney seems to possibly have the same timeline. According to Disney, they have no plans in the works to use this new simulator, but they simply put in for the patent, so they would be able to create what they wanted whenever they decided to. Disney says that they file hundreds of patents every year as a way to explore new technologies and how that tech will fit into their Parks.
What do you think about Disney creating its very own metaverse?