MiceAge
A different look at Disney...

-
Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
The Future Has Arrived








Hello, everyone. Today, we'll take a look at some great new technologies and do a little thinking out loud here on how they could appear in theme parks in the future (even if they were not originally designed for them). For a better understanding of what we're talking about today, click on the provided links to watch videos on the subject.

What inspired this piece today was the return of Honda's Asimo robot to Disneyland's Innoventions. Plus, since the day Walt's original park opened, we've always been interested in new theme park technologies, haven't we?

The Future Has Arrived

The Honda presentation at Disneyland is the only regularly scheduled way to see Asimo in the U.S. During the quarter-hour show, the robot dances, chats with the host and audience, kicks a ball and even climbs up and back down some stairs.

Honda in their press materials has mentioned how Asimo in further developed models may be used to assist the disabled, or act as a guide in a busy public setting such as a mall or airport.

There are also quite a few industrial technologies that will never end up at the local superstore, but have the interest of a lot of Disney's Imagineers. I'm sure many of you have been reading online about the KUKA robot arm - which will now be a major part of the technology used in the big 'E-ticket' Harry Potter attraction at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure.

It's been one of the worst kept secrets online that Tony Baxter and a WDI research team were working to use that arm on an attraction based on Pixar's 'Incredibles.' Apparently Universal went to KUKA with a Harry Potter concept using the same technology (in a different manner than Disney) and was able to secure a ten year exclusive on the robot arm for theme park use.

The Future Has Arrived

If you're traveling to France, you can get to experience the KUKA robot arm in action at the Futuroscope theme park, just two hours outside of Paris. Below is a video link that will let you see how it works.

Originally the arm was designed for automobile assembly lines, until somebody got the bright idea to attach two seats on the end of the arm. Of course, it could also be used in a more subtle way, and the word was that WDI was investigating just that. The word on the Harry Potter attraction is that the famous 'flying car' will be attached to the arm. Add a movie projected in the room and the car, just like in the films, will 'fly' after the Hogwarth Express.

The Future Has Arrived

Another less complex technology (that has been discussed in a previous column here) could also find itself first appearing in theme parks. It's the 3D holographic 'video' poster technology invented by XYZ Imaging. They have been able to reproduce a six second video sequence on a flat poster. The video below does a good job of showing you just how it works.

These 'video' posters would fit right into futuristic environments like Tomorrowland or Epcot's Futureworld. But they could even find their way into classic attractions such as The Haunted Mansion. (Imagine a portrait suddenly - and unexpectedly - moving in front of you!) Not just the parks can find this of use, in the next ten years Disney could sell 3D 'video' holographic posters of all their t'ween recording acts and the cast of High School Musical 22.

The next item on the list won't probably be used in a ride, but it may pop up in the Disney parks in the near future. Keeping the new touch screen iPhone in mind, those of you who have seen Steven Spielberg's "Minority Report" will probably remember the giant touch screen that Tom Cruise uses in the movie. Well, their time is coming, much sooner than you may realize. The videos links below show that two different kinds of touch screens are on the way.

The first is Microsoft's "Surface." Imagine a table at Starbuck's with a computer touch screen as the surface. Here you can display the photos you took that day, move them on the screen with your finger just like you will do if they were printed on photo paper, be able to make them bigger or smaller, and you won't even need a cable to connect your camera, as a wireless link will transfer all the files back and forth between the two.

The Future Has Arrived

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More

THERE ARE TWO PAGES TODAY; CLICK HERE FOR PAGE TWO

2007 Alain Littaye

-
MiceAgeCONTENTS | LEGAL
Google    
    Web www.MiceAge.com