Disney Launches Magic Bench And You Can Experience AR When You Sit Down

- Jun 02, 2018-

Recently, Disney Research has proposed a new approach that allows multiple people to experience the same AR (Augmented Reality) experience in the same room without wearing head-mounted or handheld mobile devices. Disney Research released the AR innovation program to the outside world and named it "Magic Bench." However, this system is not just a "bench" but a whole room designed for the virtual immersion of mixed reality. By using Microsoft Kinect's depth and color sensors, the team created a 3D reconstruction of the room scene, enabling real-world users and avatars to interact with each other in real time.

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Users sitting on the bench can use the large display in front of them to watch their interaction with the virtual character. In addition, the company's immersive style is not limited to the visual experience, it has penetrated into the touch field. Underneath the bench is a series of tactile actuators that sense the movement of the avatar, so that users sitting on the bench can feel the weight and touch of the avatar next to them.

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The same haptic effect can also be used to simulate the feeling of raindrops falling on a bench. Together with the bench below, several speakers are also installed for use with haptic actuators. The specific sound effects they emit can also enhance the sense of reality.

The perfect combination of physical and software settings creates a real-time AR experience that can accommodate users matching bench capacity. Although so far, the program is still only an experimental and proof of concept, but it seems to apply to Disney amusement park. Magic Bench will be exhibited at Siggraph Los Angeles.