Disney parks and resorts are known for its magical as well as intense lighting displays that dazzles audiences.
Now Disney Research has developed a prototype of a haptics-supported fireworks display that has been designed specifically for visually impaired guests. This tactile pyrotechnic display called “Feeling Fireworks”. According to lead research scientist, Paul Beardsley, the idea is to offer “an aesthetic technology for the blind and visually impaired community.” The prototype that has been created works with haptic feedback, which involves a series of tactile vibrations which translates the experience for the guest to feel.
Source: All about the mouse central
The method they chose is also relatively cost effective since it makes use of water jets from behind the display. To be able to make the experience even more interactive, a Microsoft Kinect camera array is capable of following the user’s movements. The measurement of the latex screen where the images are transmitted is about 0.9 meters x 0,9 meters. An arduino computer is used for controlling the timing as well as the levels of the water jet spray, which draws out images of the shapes on the screen so that the users will be able to feel them through the surface of the screen. The same image is matched from the front through a projector which creates a 3D effect.
Source: YouTube, Disney Research
The test was completed with 18 sighted participants, and the results showed a 66% success rate. While the researchers are very optimistic with the results, they have not mentioned when this technology will be incorporated at Disney Parks globally or when it will be introduced exactly.
Haptics technology is slowly making its way into different fields and industries, including the entertainment industry, and it is mostly used in applications that assists visually impaired people and adding to the richness of their experiences. As for this certain application, it is the first time the technology has been used to merge haptics with fireworks displays.
With Disney continuing to improve our experience through their creative efforts in technology, we can expect a lot of interesting new spectacles and innovations in the future.