t is rumoured that Walt Disney World has big plans for merging the theme parks with technology, due to a couple of recent patents combined with a source. Something as large scale as this may not come into fruition for years, however, it’s certainly something to watch for.
Recently, Disney has filed a patent for a new tracking system using high powered Wi-Fi systems potentially combined with 5G services and infrared monitoring. Some speculate that this could be used for portable gaming devices in the park, but one source claims that Disney are working on a system by which guests will receive pertinent information depending on where they are within a park.
This system uses a vast array of hot spots around the theme park, all bouncing a signal off of the guests’ devices once they enter into the various coverage zones. The guests could receive notifications to let them know if a ride has an unusually slow wait time, creating more efficient behaviours.
However more excitingly, Disney may also be preparing to gameify this technology so that they can have highly immersive experiences in the park. In the past, Disney has experimented with role playing games within the parks, but the new infrastructure plan would allow Disney to increase their capabilities by a substantial amount, and may involve them providing special devices to play the games with while in the parks.
One source said the devices may work on a HoloLens style augmented reality headset for particular guests, which is backed up by a patent which was filed which demonstrates that Disney is, in fact, working on such a device.
Disney wants their devices to be able to map out the geometry of objects in the device’s field of view. With augmented reality headsets, Disney would be able to have characters appear on buildings, scenes play out that other guests can’t see, post wait times floating in the air above attractions, the possibilities are endless.
It is logical that Disney would plan for five years in the future and prepare the infrastructure necessary to support augmented reality experiences. While it is unknown when an augmented reality headset may be ready and portable, Disney must believe that it won’t take forever. After all, they’ve patented such a device and they’ve designed the infrastructure to support it.