Every year, the city of Austin Texas hosts a conference that brings together the main players in the world of technology, in order to present the most interesting and disruptive ideas and projects. The event has been the scene of important announcements in the electric car sector, the presentation of new gadgets by various manufacturers, and on more than one occasion, has been attended by NASA. However, this year the company that stood out the most at the conference was Disney, presenting its innovative technologies with which it will seek to renew its theme parks.
The engineering division of Disney Parks has worked on the implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) for the creation of attractions in its theme parks. One of the most prominent examples is the presentation of a detailed Tinkerbell hologram, capable of holding complex conversations with park visitors according to Disney engineers, this type of AI interaction will be very common in the company’s theme parks in the future, making them more interactive spaces.
On the mechanical side, Disney unveiled a huge exoskeleton that will be used by park employees to bring characters like the Hulk to life in shows, as well as a cute robot inspired by Judy Hopps from the movie Zootopia. The demonstration on the main stage showcased the capabilities of this robot, which managed to stand up autonomously, somersault, and even skate with impressive precision and dexterity.
However, the most exciting moment of the conference came from Josh D’Amaro, the president of Disney’s Experiences and Products department, when he activated a blue lightsaber on stage that surprised everyone in attendance. The beam of light came directly from the hilt, not illuminating a solid plastic tube like the usual toy lightsabers. The mechanism used by this “real” lightsaber has not been revealed by Disney, although it is speculated that it is a luminous panel that unfolds when the button is pressed. In any case, the effect it creates is impressive and is sure to be very well received by fans of the Star Wars franchise.
While Disney has not specified dates or guarantees that these new technologies will be coming soon to its parks, these innovations promise a more interactive and immersive visitor experience. The potential that AI has for this type of leisure space, such as theme parks, zoos, or museums, is something that the company is taking very much into account. Undoubtedly, these technological advances represent a unique opportunity for Disney to attract and retain an increasingly demanding public eager for new experiences.