March 20th, 2017 – We’re still getting used to the immersive magic virtual reality offers, but a new experiment from Disney Research pushes the technology into another realm: interaction with real objects while in VR.
March 20th, 2017 – When you strap on all of the gear required for a modern, immersive, virtual reality experience, you’re all but completely blind to the real world.
March 6th, 2017 – When you think of sports analysis, you probably think of raw stats like time in the opposing half or shots on goal.
February 21st, 2017 – Wireless charging is a farce. We’ve basically traded in charging cables for custom-built surfaces that only work if we place our phones right on top of them.
February 18th, 2017 – If you thought wireless charging in smartphones was a new thing, you are mistaken as researchers have found a new method to power devices without connecting them to cords.
December 12th, 2016 – Serious motion capture setups often involve dozens of optical markers, inertial sensors, or both, making them a pain to set up and tear down, and producing a ton of data.
December 8th, 2016 – So far 2016 has been a wild ride, but there’s one less thing to keep you awake at night, terrified about the future, now that Disney Research has finally found a way to render convincing computer-generated sugar that looks and moves just like the real thing. Phew!
December 5th, 2016 – Digital models of humans can be uncannily accurate these days, but there’s at least one area where they fall short: teeth.
December 5th, 2016 – As we work towards crossing the uncanny valley so that computer-generated humans don’t look like horrific plastic mannequins, every last facial feature needs to be recreated perfectly.
November 16th, 2016 – A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sound is just as important to how we experience the world as how we see it — that’s why a team at Disney Research is working on a computer vision system that can not only recognize what an image is, but how it sounds, too.
November 16th, 2016 – A new project from Disney Research can recognize various objects in videos – cows, cars, very small rocks – and add appropriate sounds – “Mooo!”, “Vroom!”, a witch’s cackle – automatically.
November 14th, 2016 – Green screen has long been a staple of visual effects – but holy cow is it time consuming if you want to do it well.
October 25th, 2016 – If you don’t see facial motion capture everywhere in movies and video games, there’s probably a good reason for it.
October 12th, 2016 – One of the wonderful things about Tiggers is their ability to travel by bouncing along on a single part–a kind of movement that’s long challenged roboticists.
October 9th, 2016 – The House of Mouse’s scientists have designed a bouncy machine with one leg that can hop around without support.
October 6th, 2016 – In Disney’s continued quest to breath life into all of its cartoon characters, it might be going beyond a mere costume. Its research branch just revealed what appears to be the first attempt to make a robotic version of Tigger, Winnie the Pooh’s tiger pal, who’s best known for bouncing around on his tail.
July 30th, 2016 – 3D printing is incredibly useful but it does have its limitations, one of which is that it’s very hard to print anything more visually sophisticated than a single-colored object.
July 20th, 2016 – Capturing an actor’s facial performance in a three-dimensional environment is key to believable animations in movies and video games. The process of accurately modeling a performer’s face — and their full range of expressions — is no easy task, however. But with a new method developed by Disney Research, it’s about to become much simpler.
July 19th, 2016 – 3D-printed motorcycle earmuffs that suppress traffic and wind noise while amplifying car horns, and objects encoded with unique audio barcodes are just a couple of the devices that could be on the way, thanks to a new system designed by researchers at Columbia University, MIT and Disney Research that allows specific acoustic properties to be implanted into 3D-printed objects.
June 24th, 2016 – Using deep learning techniques, a group of researchers has trained a computer to recognise events in videos on YouTube — even the ones the software has never seen before like riding a horse, baking cookies or eating at a restaurant. Researchers from Disney Research and Shanghai’s Fudan University used both scene and object features from the video and enabled link between these visual elements and each type of event to be automatically determined by a machine-learning architecture known as neural network.
June 23rd, 2016 – The Walt Disney Company recently announced they would be enhancing their basketball and soccer television coverage by improving their automated camera technology.
May 30th, 2016 – Researchers from the University of Washington along with Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University teamed to create a new kind of smart paper that can respond to gestures.
May 12th, 2016 – The easiest way to make a robot as dexterous and capable as a human being is to simply let a human control it.
May 12th, 2016 – The team at Disney Research is up to its fun old tricks, this time finding some new uses for off-the-shelf RFID tags.
May 5th, 2016 – Without using them, one iPhone or laptop is indistinguishable from another of the same model—to the human eye, at least. A team of researchers, though, has developed a tool that can tell gadgets apart based just on the electromagnetic noise they create.
March 15th, 2016 – Disney researchers have figured out of a way to search sports footage using the equivalent of hand-drawn play diagrams.
January 22nd, 2016 – Mike Seymour goes behind the visual effects that earned “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” an Oscar nod. See how Industrial Light & Magic crafted complex action sequences, detailed environments, and realistic characters with the help of advanced motion-capture technology and performances from actors like Lupita Nyong’o.
December 29th, 2015 – Disney unveiled a wall-climbing robot Tuesday that can zip along grassy fields as easily as it climbs up nobby brick walls.
December 29th, 2015 – Not even walls can stop Disney’s and ETH Zurich’s new four-wheeled robot called VertiGo that can quickly transition from rolling on the ground to climbing obstacles like a gecko—and without those sticky feet.
December 14th, 2015 – Already, audio engineers can use software such as Pro Tools to change the inflection of a person’s voice after it’s been recorded.
November 11th, 2015 – Some smartwatches know your heart rate, and some know your location — but do any know what appliance you’re using, or what door you’re opening?
October 3rd, 2015 – A new Disney Research project can make coloring books more exciting for those of us with limited art skills.
August 7th, 2015 – Leading up to this year’s Siggraph conference—the biggest event of the year in computer graphics and experimental UI—Disney Research comes with a collection of new papers that delve into everything from new methods of 3-D printing action figures to better ways for us to render CGI eyelids.
June 25th, 2015 – The stars of the upcoming Disney Channel original movie “Teen Beach 2” helped a group of children learn about robotics.
May 26th, 2015 – Step aside BB-8, this robot’s bipedal. A portly, orange-tawny blob-man jaunts across the screen monitor on two legs, arms and head oddly stationary.
May 22nd, 2015 – Here’s another absurd one out of Disney’s research labs. We’ve seen them build adorable robots to draw on beaches, 3D printers that make huggable objects out of felt, and make spinning tops out of seemingly impossible shapes.
April 21st, 2015 – Disney Research is apparently developing plastic accessories that can control phones, which might even be more far-out than MIT’s thumbnail trackpads.
April 17th, 2015 – A new type of 3-D printer created by Disney Research allows layers of soft fabric to be used instead of plastic or metal.
April 21st, 2015 – DAILY PLANET Digit@l – What does the future hold for tech? Lucas is here to let you know!
March 13th, 2015 – Last weekend, Brazilian superstar, Kaká, scored in the final minute of hisMajor League Soccer debut for Orlando City Soccer Club. It was his fifth shot at goal, the second on target. Carlos Rivas, Orlando’s Colombian striker, also had five shots, but didn’t score. The match, against New York City FC, ended 1-1.
February 28th 2015 – Many RPGs have more than one ending, but even then you still have limited ways to control the story or to interact with the characters. Disney Research, however, wants to make realinteractive games — ones where your actions can affect how it progresses and ends — so it has created a platform that can help developers do so more easily than if they use traditional tools.
February 2015 – For its automatic editing technology that’s almost as good as a human. During nearly any event, be it a friend’s birthday party or a Beyoncé concert, our first instinct is to lift our phones out in front of us and press “record.”
February 17, 2015 – Last November, in the “Clueless Gamer” segment of his late-night talk show, Conan O’Brien played a few levels of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
January 20, 2015 – The BeachBot does have some limitations. Reflective poles must be placed on the beach by humans to define the canvas the robot draws on. Fine motor controls don’t mix well with sand and salty surf, so in addition to building rubberized seals into the design to protect the sensitive internal workings from the elements, extra care is required in maintenance.
December 12, 2014 – Creating lifelike animated characters is hard. The bounce of the hair, the twitch of the cheek. Disney and its competitors have been continuously working to build more and more realistic animations. They were praised for how lifelike Merida’s hair was in Brave, and how believable Finding Nemo’s reef was (aside from the talking fish). Next, they might be lauded for how personable Woody’s eyes are in Toy Story 4. No more ovals with dots in the middle in this studio.
November 6, 2014 – When Director Don Hall saw a robot arm made of balloons at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute several years ago, he knew instantly that Baymax, a pivotal character in a Disney animated feature, also would be an inflatable robot.
August 1, 2014 – …Prior to the on-set motion capture, the team had the actors perform expressions while being scanned with Disney Research’s Medusa system. The Muse team decomposed those scans into components within Fez, ILM’s facial animation system that animators used to re-create the expressions.
October 9, 2014 – Disney may not have much of a stake in robots at the industrial scale, but the company sure employs plenty of animatronics at its parks and films. So it only makes sense that it would want to build the most natural moving robots it can and encourage you to suspend your disbelief.
October 9, 2014 – Decades ago Disney’s audio-animatronic technology revolutionized the animated characters that helped bring the company’s theme park rides to life. But just imagine how eerily lifelike those Caribbean pirates or US presidents will be when the company’s latest breakthrough—motor-less, servo-less, but remarkably responsive air-powered robots—are implemented in Disney’s parks.
October 9, 2014 – Roboticists have long been trying to build robot arms that are light, nimble, and safe to operate near people. Some designs rely on compliant actuators, artificial muscles, or sensors and software to keep the arms from smashing into things that they’re not supposed to. The challenge, however, is that most robot arms are stuffed full of electric motors and gears, and these are relatively big and heavy, adding to the size and weight of the arms.
October 2, 2014 – “Bob Iger is the architect of Disney’s current success, with a proven history of delivering record financial results for the company quarter after quarter and year after year,” said Orin C. Smith, independent lead director of the Disney board.
September 14, 2014 – …The research began at the Disney Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where Ricketts and Stancil taught before coming to NC State. Ricketts says they were trying to do some research with sports visualization, and since Disney owned ESPN, it made sense that the team turned to football.
August 11, 2014 – With increasingly innovative video cameras now a nearly ever-present part of every facet of our lives, the tools to help us better utilize the resulting footage are gradually evolving, too. Keying in on this trend of social cameras, that is, wearable cameras like the GoPro, Disney Research has devised an ingenious tool that can automatically edit the final footage together with an intuitive, human-style editing approach.
April 29, 2014 – Scientists have used a 3D printer to produce electrostatic loudspeakers that can take the shape of anything, from a rubber ducky to an abstract spiral.
April 28, 2014 – Soft and cuddly aren’t words used to describe the plastic or metal things typically produced by today’s 3D printers. But a new type of printer developed by Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh can turn wool and wool blend yarns into fabric objects that people might actually enjoy touching.
April 28, 2014 – By adapting a little-used speaker technology developed in the 1930s to 3D printing, a Disney Research team has been able to create highly interactive speakers in funky shapes.
April 28, 2014 – Forget everything you know about what a loudspeaker should look like. Scientists at Disney Research, Pittsburgh have developed methods using a 3D printer to produce electrostatic loudspeakers that can take the shape of anything, from a rubber ducky to an abstract spiral.
April 1, 2014 – Disney has developed a display made out of a swarm of disc-shaped robots. Each robot acts as an individual pixel and has controllable colour, meaning that it can form part of an image when viewed from above.
February 27, 2014 – An automated analysis by Disney Research Pittsburgh of team formations used during an entire season of professional soccer provides further evidence that visiting teams are less successful than home teams because they play conservatively, not because of a mythical home advantage.
February 27, 2014 – Everyone knows a basketball player is more likely to miss a three-point shot if a defender is in his face, but a new automated method for analyzing team formations, created by Disney Research Pittsburgh, shows how players get open for a shot: via defensive role swaps.
In Pittsburgh, science gets playful — Disney Research is investigating ways to enhance the physical world with interactive technology.
December 9, 2013 – Imagine: sharing a secret with a friend by touching your finger to her ear; rubbing a book’s page to reveal a hidden message; feeling the texture of a mountain range on a flat computer screen; or sensing the fluttering of a digital butterfly’s wings against your skin.
These fancies have been made into realities at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, one of six labs in a network. “Science at Play” is the network’s tagline, and the innovative technologies coming out of Pittsburgh’s lab are playful.
E-book readers are gaining popularity thanks to their capacity and potential for interactivity. Some people still prefer paper books for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they don’t require power. Engineers at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University hope that they can merge the best of both technologies with their energy harvesting “Paper Generators.”
A team led by Disney Research, Zürich has developed a method to more efficiently render animated scenes that involve fog, smoke or other substances that affect the travel of light, significantly reducing the time necessary to produce high-quality images or animations without grain or noise.
Most people try to keep clothing wrinkle free, but computer graphic artists, striving for realism in computer simulations, take pains to be sure clothing wrinkles, folds and stretches naturally. A new computer modeling technique developed by Disney researchers and academic collaborators addresses this problem.
Video game aficionados have been waiting for a motion tracking system that allows users to control an avatar in near real time. That wait may soon be over, thanks to new high-speed, low-cost technology from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh.
November 11, 2013 – The touchscreen has become a vital part of all of our lives, and we keep finding new ways to utilize its easy use. But, there is one thing that the touchscreens are not capable of yet, and that is to present us with realistic representation of the textures that things have in the real world. Disney Research has endeavored into this mystical realm to see if they may solve this quite important part of how we experience things, and the result is a 3D texture tactile touchscreen.
October 29, 2013 – What will the future of touch look like? With haptic technology, which could be described as the science of touch, users have a physical experience, making the technology more interactive. This will revolutionize the gaming experience but also be useful in medicine and every-day life. How about plants that can interpret how you touch them?
October 15, 2013 – Does feeling the surface friction of a virtual object rendered on an iPad screen sound like science fiction? Disney Research has already made the technology a reality, with a project dubbed “Tactile Rendering of 3D Features on Touch Surfaces.”
September 16, 2013 – It might be hard to appreciate in the 21st century, but before interactive apps, before CGI, and before cinema, a lot of what we’d call “animated entertainment” consisted of little hand-cranked robots. These toys, called automata, were mechanical wonders whose appeal rested on novelty: If you turn the crank, what will this lifeless hunk of wood do? …The software team, led by Stelian Coros and Bernhard Thomaszewski in Disney Research’s Zurich lab, sought to create a way to make the design and fabrication of automata as easy as dorking around with iMovie–or maybe Final Cut Pro.
September 16, 2013 – There are already devices that transmit sound to your body without speakers. But what if your body was the speaker? Disney Research has just explored that possibility through its Ishin-Den-Shin project.
August 13, 2013 – Investigators at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, are applying artificial intelligence to the analysis of professional soccer and, in one application of the automated technique, have discovered a strategic error often made by coaches of visiting teams.
July 22, 2013 – Big data isn’t just about the size of the data set: The discovery of new data sources is also important. There’s web data, sensor data, location data and, now, there’s artistic data. No, not data about the properties of the world’s masterpieces, but data about the actual strokes we use while were drawing.
June 21, 2013 – Stereoscopic panoramas promise an inviting, immersive experience for viewers but, at high resolutions, distortions can develop that make viewing unpleasant or even intolerable. A team at Disney Research Zurich has found methods to correct these problems, yielding high-quality panoramas at megapixel resolutions.
The researchers will present findings related to their so-called Megastereo project at the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), June 25-27, in Portland, Oregon.
May 31, 2013 – The folks at Disney Research are pushing the envelope again. This latest demonstration shows of what they call “Seam-based Compositing” and it’s a real mind-blower. If Adobe added this to After Effects I might consider getting the CC-Version after all.
May 28, 2013 – Many viewers of the 1962 animated television series “The Jetsons” scoffed at the idea of robots folding clothes or tending to the kitchen, imagining that this type of futuristic technology would not be available for hundreds of years. But handing coats, shoes or packages to a robot could soon become customary, if Disney Research Pittsburgh’s latest development is introduced to the workplace or the home.
May 22, 2013 – With a new device, Disney Research aims to add tactile feedback to our gaming experiences with something that’s much more than another vibrating controller.
May 20, 2013 – Recognizing that a person is handing something and predicting where the human plans to make the handoff is difficult for a robot, but the researchers from Disney and KIT solved the problem by using motion capture data with two people to create a database of human motion.
May 20, 2013 – Video compositing to create special effects, replace backgrounds or combine multiple takes of an actor’s performance is an integral, but highly labor-intensive, part of modern film making. Researchers at Disney Research, Zürich, however, have found an innovative way to create these composite videos that is simple, fast, and easy to use.
February 13, 2013 – Haptic connections aren’t just limited to reproducing reality; they can give important information about virtual situations as well. That’s what Disney Research is developing with Surround Haptics.
January 9, 2013 – Top honour for ETH Zurich professor and Disney director Markus Gross: he is to receive a “Tech Oscar” from the Academy of Motion and Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
December 17, 2012 – We thought it’d take years to see Surround Haptics make its way affordably into future living rooms. After all, it was only at last year’s SIGGRAPH that Disney Research demoed the tech in a $5,000 prototype chair. But with the impending release of The Avengers-branded Vybe gaming pad, it’s clear the family-friendly conglomerate found a way to fast-track its patent-pending sensory solution as an all-purpose peripheral.
October 3, 2012 – 3D printing clearly has a ton of potential when it comes to revolutionizing home manufacturing for both creators and consumers, but there’s also no denying that we’re still a ways from mainstream penetration — where the average person is able to print everything from dinnerware to working electronic devices on the fly…
Luckily for us, today’s experiments gradually take us closer to future practicality and provide a glimpse at what’s coming. This is the case with Disney Research and its new experiments with printed optics.
May 14, 2012 – You may have heard that The Avengers did wonders for Disney’s (NYSE: DIS) image after the John Carter flop in March. The box-office hit successfully boosted share price and compelled several analysts, including Barclays Capital, to raise the target price from $44 to $48. — In fact, when the market took a downturn last week, Disney was one of five or six Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks to close higher on Tuesday and Wednesday, even hitting an all-time high. Impressive.
But what else does Disney have up its sleeve?
How about Touche, the futuristic “swept frequency capacitive sensing” technology capable of processing more information than current touch sensors?
May 10, 2012 – (in German) Bis heute galt beim Fotografieren das Prinzip: Erst scharfstellen, dann abdrücken. Eine neuartige Lichtfeldkamera revolutioniert diesen Ablauf. Jetzt heisst es: Abdrücken und dann scharfstellen. Was ist dran an dieser Technologie? Was kann diese Kamera? «Einstein»-Moderator Tobias Müller macht den Test.
May 7, 2012 – Next-gen touch sensor technology will allow people to control devices by touching parts of their body, according to Disney. The team that bought us Mickey Mouse has demonstrated a new technology that can sense hand gestures on the human body, everyday objects and even liquids.
May 7, 2012 – A team of engineers from the U.S. and Japan, including two engineers from Disney Research, has pioneered a technology that could forever change the ways in which humans and inanimate objects interact by embedding electrodes in everyday devices. (This piece originally appeared on the WaPo Labs Blog on May 7.WaPo Labs is the digital team at the Washington Post Company focused on innovation and experimenting with emerging technologies.)
May 7, 2012 – Disney Research has announced some new touch interface technology that add extra gesture functionality to existing touchscreens and more exotic items like doorknobs and even the water’s surface. Touché works by sensing capacitive signals across a range of frequencies — whereas typical systems only pick up signal at a single frequency.
May 7, 2012 – The important thing to understand is that capacitive touch technology can be used with almost any object or surface.
…Touché accurately and quickly detects gestures on objects as disparate as a doorknob, table, and water in a fish tank. In one very exciting example, the video postulates a future where you interact with your smartphone (or other wearable/implanted computer) by performing touch gestures on your own body.
May 7, 2012 – Have you ever wanted to control devices by touching everyday objects and even parts of your body? Sure you have! And a team at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University is working on the technology to make it possible. Dubbed “Touché”, the technique uses something called ‘Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing’ that will enable real-world objects like chairs or doorknobs to not only detect a touch event, but also recognize what they are being touched by and how they are being touched.
It looks like Disney has a little magic up its sleeve that goes beyond a child’s smile – the project it unveiled today could turn the entire world into a touchscreen. Pittsburgh-based Disney Research recently demonstrated its new “Touche” technology that can sense hand gestures on the human body and everyday objects. It could effectively making all extant user interfaces obsolete, turning the human body into the ultimate remote.
May 6, 2012 – Disney Research, which previously came up with the SideBySide wall-based gaming concept, is back with what looks like a fairly sophisticated touch-sensing technology. The system, called Touché, works by detecting a range of frequencies at the same time, rather than one frequency as on simple capacitive screens.
Imagine a door that locks when you pinch the knob. Or a smartphone that can be silenced by a hand gesture. Or a chair that adjusts room lighting when you recline into it. A team of researchers at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have come up with a system called Touché, which uses the same capacitive technology as a smartphone’s touchscreen to imbue everyday objects with body and gesture recognition.
May 4, 2012 – Researchers at Disney and Carnegie Mellon develop Touche, an interface system where multiple gestures can be added to existing touch screens and other objects, including “smart doorknobs.”
May 4, 2012 – Forget smartphones or tablets – the future of touch control could be doorknobs, furniture or even your own body. Researchers at Disney Research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have created Touché, a system that can detect a variety of touch gestures on everyday objects.
May 4, 2012 – A team of researchers from Disney and Carnegie Mellon University have collaborated and come up with an interesting bit of technology that might be useful for many of us in the future. The technology uses what is called Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing and apparently will allow nearly any object to sense multiple points of contact.
May 4, 2012 – Intelligent doorknobs and gesture-controlled smartphones could be on the way, thanks to a new sensing technique developed by Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University.
May 4, 2012 – Touch sensitive displays have changed the way we interact with electronic devices everyday, evolving from single to multi-touch displays that can recognize multiple contacts. Now researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a touch sensitive technology called Touché that not only detects if and where someone is touching it, but how they are touching it.
May 3, 2012 – Researchers at Disney and Carnegie Mellon University have created an interesting new technology using Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing that allows nearly any object to sense multiple points of contact on its complex service. This would allow, for example, doorknobs to understand when to lock and unlock based on your finger position and environmental controls based on the user’s current body position. Lying down? The lights go out. Feet on the floor? The lights go up.
‘Smart Doorknobs’ and Gesture-Controlled Smartphones: Revolutionary Technology Enables Objects to Know Your Touch
May 3, 2012 – A doorknob that knows whether to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped, a smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips and a chair that adjusts room lighting based on recognizing if a user is reclining or leaning forward are among the many possible applications of Touché, a new sensing technique developed by a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.
May 3, 2012 – A doorknob that knows whether to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped, a smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips and a chair that adjusts room lighting based on recognizing if a user is reclining or leaning forward are among the many possible applications of Touché, a new sensing technique developed by a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.
May 3, 2012 – A doorknob that knows to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped. A smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips. A chair that adjusts room lighting. They are among the many possible applications of Touché, a new sensing technique developed by a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.
May 3, 2012 – In our latest event roundup, Spafax’s Carly Gatto reports from FITC 2012, a digital conference that ended up being all about engaging with the physical world… In his presentation “The Thing is Your Friend: Making the World Alive One Bit At A Time,” Disney research scientist Ivan Poupyrev said that it takes 10 years from the time a technology is invented to the time it is put on the market. In other words, the future is being created as we speak.
March 5, 2012 – Robotics Institute graduate student Laura Trutoiu helps animators make facial movements seem more real. Laura is a former Disney Research, Pittsburgh Lab Associate, and a current collaborator with Senior Research Scientist, Iain Matthews.
February 20-22, 2012 – Ali Israr, post-doctoral researcher at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, attended the TEI 2012 conference to highlight Disney Research’s work in the area of haptics. For this conference, Ali co-organized a special Studio entitled “Designing Haptics”. The Studio’s aim was to develop a greater understanding and sensitivity to the emerging field of Haptics.
January 29, 2012 – The kinds of accessories available for smartphones are becoming increasingly impressive. While a nifty case or speaker dock used to be impressive, tech researchers are beginning to produce devices that enhance the smartphone experience for the young and old alike. The tech gurus at Disney Research, Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University recently released announced the development of a side by side projector that allows users to play interactive games being projected onto a wall. It’s the overhead projector of the future.
December 6, 2011 – While the business model for 3D television and gaming is still being established, research in lab centres around the globe are tackling the issues inherent in fooling the brain into ‘seeing’ a 3D image.
November 1, 2011 – Recently, we published an article discussing some exciting work by Disney Research… We had a chance to gain additional insight into the SideBySide program. Karl D.D. Willis, Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon University and a lab associate at Disney Research, was kind enough to spend some time answering some questions for us.
October 29, 2011 – Researchers at Disney Research (Pittsburgh – Pennsylvania ), present SideBySide, a stunning system designed for ad-hoc multi-user interaction with handheld projectors.
October 25, 2011 – Researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a system called SideBySide that enables animated images from two separate handheld projectors to interact with each other on the same surface.
October 21, 2011 – Engineers at Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University (both of Pittsburgh, PA, USA) have developed a system called SideBySide that enables animated images from two separate handheld projectors to interact with each other on the same surface.
October 21, 2011 – Disney Research unveiled a new project called SideBySide – an interactive projected system that allows multple people to play and work together. Projected images by more than one device can become aware of each other and respond to other projections.
October 18, 2011 – What’s cooler than a pair of handheld projectors? A pair of handheld projectors that interact with each other. SideBySide is a prototype handheld projector system from Disney Research and Carnegie Mellon University. Aim two of the devices at adjacent spots on a surface, and the projected images react to one another.
October 18, 2011 – I think this is something worth mentioning. Disney Research has innovated the use of Pico projectors. These Pico projectors are no longer just projecting images. They actually interact with the images. Using infrared camera and markers, images become interactive once they are near each other. Apart from the games, some real life application like file transfer and etc can be made possible.
October 18, 2011 – Video gamers are certainly going to have a completely rejuvenated gaming experience as the next generation of games will probably do away with baffling choice of screens available and switch to handheld projectors instead. Screens like HD, 3D, touch and more, the handheld projectors will now replace the screen with a wall. ‘SideBySide’ is one such gaming system exemplifying this technique.
October 17, 2011 – Kids these days just don’t get thrilled by tiny projectors the way they used to. Disney Research is hoping to address the problem with its new SideBySide prototype, a pico projector that interacts with images projected nearby. The device outputs both visible and infrared light, while a built-in sensor detects the latter, allowing it to react to the image.
October 17, 2011 – There are a bewildering choice of screens available to modern video gamers, what with HD, 3D, touch and more. But perhaps the next generation of games will do away with all of that and replace your display with a humble wall. Karl Willis and colleagues at the Disney Research labs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have come up with a multiplayer gaming system called SideBySide that uses handheld projectors to let you play on any nearby surface.
October 17, 2011 – We’ve seen our fair share of pico projectors that work decently enough for what they were created to do, but somehow they never really took off and entered mainstream consciousness since it never had a “killer app” or a “killer purpose” apart from being a novelty. Hopefully this handheld projector system that was developed by Karl Willis and colleagues at the Disney Research labs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will fare differently.
October 17, 2011 – We’ve lamented that handheld projectors aren’t quite worth toting around just yet. But that could soon change if Disney’s research wing manages to get their SideBySide interactive projectors past the prototype stage.
Disney Research Create SideBySide Interactive Projectors, Bringing A New Twist To Multiplayer Gaming (video)
October 17, 2011 – Disney Research have developed a new and innovative concept called SideBySide which provides a method for gamers to be able to interact with each other using projected characters. The SideBySide system projects images onto a surface which then become aware and responsive to other nearby projections.
October 17, 2011 – The project is called SideBySide, and comes from researchers Ivan Poupyrev and Karl D.D. Willis. It combines a camera with a projector so that the two on-screen (or on-wall) images can actually interact with each other. Each unit consists of a modified DLP projector which outputs a single color of visible light and also an invisible infrared image. The IR image is detected by the camera of the second device, letting it know what the other device is up to, and where.
October 14, 2011 – Current pico projectors are designed for allowing one person to share content with a few. Disney Research is looking to shift this paradigm – DRAMATICALLY. In this new paper, the authors describe several arrangements that allow for multiple users to use pico projectors to create an interactive gaming experience. They call this project SideBySide.
October 6, 2011 – This is one of the most fascinating stories I’ve encountered in a while. For the past three years, Disney has been running a network of research labs in Zurich, Pittsburgh and Boston under the banner of Disney Research. The locations were chosen so that they could attract the brightest scientists from top institutions like the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and MIT. The facilities operate in addition to the ongoing research being done at Pixar, Disney Feature Animation and Imagineering. There are roughly 200 total people working in Disney Research including 50 senior research scientists.
September 27, 2011 – Disney is the largest entertainment company in the world, with studios, TV networks (ABC), sports cable channels (ESPN), theme parks, animation and live action film businesses, theater and even cruise ship interests. Not surprisingly, Disney has a huge research and development commitment. Since 2008, its worldwide R&D team has been unified and, in part due to the influence of its acquisition of Pixar, this unified R&D team is open and publishing. In fact, at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver this year and in Hong Kong at SIGGRAPH Asia, Disney R&D, under the banner of Disney Research Zurich, is one of the most prolific research contributors in the industry.
September 26, 2011 – A group of Carnegie Mellon researchers, in association with Disney Research of Pittsburgh, are bringing animations closer to reality by modeling accurate eye blinks.
September 8, 2011 – Adrenalin junkies, step aside: a new base-jumping robot can climb up buildings before deploying a paraglider to fly back down to earth. It is also equipped with an on-board video camera to film the jump. The robot – named Paraswift – is a collaboration between Disney Research and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.
September 6, 2011 – Two research teams from Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research Pittsburgh are busy developing computer techniques that quickly produce realistic animated facial expressions and body motions– a real challenge given the myriad capabilities of the face’s 43 muscles, the complexity of the human body and our ability to perceive subtle changes in human motion.
July 1, 2011 – Congratulations to the TeslaTouch team for winning the Best Demo award at World Haptics 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Receiving this recognition at World Haptics is an endorsement and a seal of approval of international haptics community.
June 23, 2011 – Market research predicts that there will be as many as 39 million hand-held devices with embedded projectors on the market by 2014. Wouldn’t it be a better world if these pocket-size projectors were used for something other than PowerPoint presentations? The folks at Disney Research at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh think so.
June 10, 2011 – Imagine a virtual car race where you can feel the swerve as you change direction. Now you can experience this sensation thanks to a haptic chair developed by Ivan Poupyrev and his team from Disney Research Pittsburgh. In the video above, see how a regular chair was kitted up with soft pads filled with a grid of actuators, to create tactile feedback that syncs up with the visuals and sound in the racing game.
June 7, 2011 – LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This week at the E3 Expo, MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS) is inviting attendees to visit its booth #546 in the South Hall to experience how mobile gaming can offer a much larger, more exhilarating experience when combined with PicoP® in-motion laser display technology. MicroVision is showcasing several prototype devices, along with its “Made for iPod, iPhone, and iPad” SHOWWX+™ laser pico projector, that enable game play on any surface at up to nine feet in diagonal image size. Unlike competitive technologies, MicroVision’s laser display technology produces images that are always in focus with no color breakup even in constant motion and on uneven display surfaces—two critical criteria for mobile gaming applications.
June 8, 2011 – Sitting in a movie theater watching 3-D superheroes leap off the screen and soar overhead, it’s hard to imagine what direction the next level of media enhancement could take. Maybe viewers feeling wind whipping their hair as the hero flies by or the heat of his laser-beamed eyes warming their cheeks? What if an audience could feel the moisture of a tear as it streams down a heroine’s face, followed by a gentle brush of hand wiping it away?
May 31, 2011 – Sometimes I don’t think games are immersive enough. I’ll pull some ridiculous maneuver in Dirt 3, and all I get is a little controller shake. Pffh. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this, because, according to New Scientist, the engineers at Disney Research in Pittsburgh are working a “Tactile Brush” that can mimic motion across your back.
May 28, 2011 – I like a lot of realism in my games – and movies to a point. I would love to have a chair that allows me to feel the forces exerted on the body during a real car race for instance. I would not want to have the feeling of some ghoul touching me in a scary movie though. I used to routinely scare myself back when the last version of Doom came out just from things jumping out, if it jumped out on screen and touched me I would probably die.
May 25, 2011 – One of the illusions the team employs is called apparent tactile motion. If two vibrating objects are placed close together on skin in quick succession, people often experience this as a single vibration moving between the two points of contact. In a related illusion, known as a phantom tactile sensation, a pair of stationary vibrations is sensed as a single stimulus placed in between the two.
May 17, 2011 – The Mouse is coming back to Cambridge. The Walt Disney Company’s research division, led by the former Bostonian Joe Marks, is planning to open a small lab in the American Twine Building next month. That’s exactly 11 years after Disney shuttered its last lab in East Cambridge, which had mainly developed new technologies for the Disney theme parks as part of the company’s famed Imagineering team.
May 8, 2011 – The MotionBeam is a project by Disney Research that explores the use of handheld projectors to interact and control projected characters. Similarly to the project by AirCord ‘Mobile Runner’ the project explores physical movement of the projection device, much like a motion controller, how it may be used to guide and interact with the virtual/projected characters and interact with physical environment.
April 12, 2011 – Dynamic speakers, with links to both university and industry sectors, were highlights of the IEEE RFID 2011 program, April 12-14, 2011, in Orlando, FL. – Joshua Griffin (Disney Research, Pittsburgh) gave a keynote talk entitled “RF Tags for Entertainment”.
February 3, 2011 – Ominous-looking beams of light often seen shining down in a forest or through church windows – are tricky for animators to reproduce. In addition to oddly-shaped obstructions, like a canopy of leaves, they also have to deal with dust or moisture that scatter light rays to create their foggy appearance. But now a new technique developed by Ilya Baran and a team from MIT and Disney Research Zurich is making the process a lot easier.
January 25, 2011 – Trinity has appointed a number of world renowned writers, actors, directors, composers and creative technologists among others to lead its dynamic new initiative in the Creative Arts, Technologies and Culture. Among the appointments are composer Bill Whelan, most famous for Riverdance; award winning playwright Michael West; famous author of the Discworld series Terry Pratchett and Disney Research Director, Jessica Hodgins. They will be giving masterclasses to Trinity students and undertaking collaborative research as part of their adjunct professorships and lectureships over the next three years.
December 29, 2010 – In this digital age, our fingers have learned to love touch screens. They provide an easy, intuitive way to navigate our devices to make them do our bidding. But so far, our fingers haven’t felt any love in return. All glass screens feel the same — they take, but as far as the sensory experience goes, they don’t give back.
Disney Research Zurich Receives Tell Award, Honored for Technology and Innovation Investment in the Greater Zurich Area
September 23, 2010 – Disney Research Zurich (DRZ) has won the Tell Award for most significant Swiss Technology and Innovation Investment in 2009, the Walt Disney Company, ETH Zurich and the Greater Zurich Area AG jointly announced today.
August 4, 2010 – At Siggraph, the annual conference for graphics geeks that ended last week, Disney researchers created an animatronic eye that moves in a lifelike way, makes eye contact and tracks those who pass by.
May 11, 2010 – Having recently received another Academy Award, this time for best animated feature with Up, and only weeks before the long-awaited release of Toy Story 3, (Ed) Catmull came to Switzerland to officially open the Disney Research lab in Zurich at ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
August 5-9, 2012 – Across the Disney Research family, which includes Disney Research Pittsburgh, Disney Research Zurich, Pixar Animation Studios Research Group, and Walt Disney Animation Studios Research Group, we had an excellent showing at the 2012 ACM SIGGRAPH conference. This year’s conference was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, August 5-9, 2012, where the Disney Research team members presented a combined total of twenty-nine papers, presentations, talks, and courses.
November 26, 2012 – Comfort Research and Marvel Entertainment introduce the Avengers-licensed Vybe Haptic Gaming Pad – the “Vybe,” a gaming pad that immerses the user in games, movies and music like never before by featuring an innovative technology that is content-driven to deliver a rich, dynamically-changing variety of tactile vibrating sensations.
August 28, 2012 – Move over cellphones, tablets and anything else with a touchscreen. Computer scientists have developed a new sensing technology that turns almost anything into a touchscreen-like surface.
May 7, 2012 – Researchers from the Disney Research Lab and Carnegie Mellon University have released findings around gesture technology that could turn body parts and ordinary household surfaces such as door knobs and bathwater into interactive mediums similar to tablet screens. The new system, known as Touché, will be presented at a conference in Austin, Texas on Monday, May 7. (Source: Bloomberg)
May 7, 2012 – There is an unending battle online over which theme parks have the best tech. Universal’s Harry Potter and Transformers expansions have set the bar high. Disney’s Xpass, NextGen, Carsland and Fantasyland incorporate vast amounts of new tech too. But the problem is comparing apples and oranges. Both company’s approaches to technology innovations are different with different goals. However, Disney has just released info on its new technology Touché, which will not only change the face of the theme park industry, it may change the world, leaving many, many companies in the dust.
May 7, 2012 – In 2008, the Walt Disney Company established an R&D unit called Disney Research. This effort was aimed at unlocking innovations and technology advances through an “an informal network of research labs that collaborate closely with academic institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH)”. Three researchers working with Disney Research recently introduced Touché a technology that enables Gesture Recognition by using capacitive sensing.
May 7, 2012 – The Touché project is a new way of using capacitive sensors–like the one found on smartphone displays–so that they can detect more than just touch on a screen.
May 7, 2012 – A doorknob that knows whether to lock or unlock based on how it is grasped, a smartphone that silences itself if the user holds a finger to her lips and a chair that adjusts room lighting based on recognizing if a user is reclining or leaning forward are among the many possible applications of Touché, a new sensing technique developed by a team at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.
May 7, 2012 – Disney Research, the bleeding edge guerilla technology arm of The Walt Disney Company, has created Touché, a system that can turn almost any object or substance into a multi-touch, gesture-recognizing interface.
May 6, 2012 – Disney Research (which presumably has lots of mice) created a new sensing system called Touché that can sense a wide variety of human hand and body interactions, not just touch screens, but in all sorts of objects—even liquids. It’s pretty amazing.
May 12, 2011 – Disney’s research arm has developed a new form of interactive gaming using a pico projector and motion sensor to control cartoon characters beamed onto walls. MotionBeam consists of a handheld pico projector, an iPod touch and motion sensor unit, including an infra-red camera that can detect objects to incorporate into the game.