Possible Disney Metaverse? Disney files patent for a “virtual world simulator”
Disney is potentially looking at a play into the metaverse with a patent recently approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for what the patent calls a “virtual-world simulator”.
United States Patent 11,210,843 filed by Disney Enterprises, Inc. explains the virtual-world simulator includes a computer platform, along with software, a tracking system, and a projection device all linked to the computer.
The patent states that the system obtains a map of a real-world venue, and uses the tracking system to track a moving perspective of a person or camera in the real world. The system then controls the projection device to simulate a virtual world by creating virtual effects in the real world venue from the vantage point of the person or camera.
In providing background on the patent, Disney explains its situation with implementing Augmented Reality (AR), stating that the current way people view AR environments is costly, inconvenient, and unequal. In the case of Disney providing AR equipment, sanitation of equipment would be “burdensome”, especially in the era of COVID-19.
AR environments are typically viewed by devices such as AR-enabled glasses, goggles, headsets, or compatible phones so that the person can see the real-world inclusive of the virtual projections.
“AR glasses, goggles, and headsets can be costly and inconvenient to wear,” Disney states in the patent. “In addition, the increased concern over the spread of communicable disease will likely mandate burdensome sanitation procedures in usage environments in which wearable AR viewing equipment is shared by multiple users.”
“Furthermore, requiring the use of an AR-enabled personal device to enjoy a virtual environment effectively precludes multiple users from sharing the same experience.”
Disney continues, “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.”
A spokesperson for Disney said to the Los Angeles Times that the company “files hundreds of patents each year as we explore developing technologies.”
“We are excited about the possibilities related to this type of technology,” the spokesperson said, and added that “there are no current plans to introduce this technology into an upcoming experience.”