Disney Has Invented a Jacket That Allows You to Feel Physical Experiences in Virtual Reality

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Have you ever wanted to feel like a snake is crawling across you? How about being punched? Or is getting a virtual hug more your speed? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Disney’s latest invention may be right up your alley.

Disney Research, along with MIT and Carnegie Mellon, has invented a jacket that allows you to feel physical experiences while in VR (Virtual Reality). This is a huge step forward in VR technology and makes it seem like Disney is looking at VR to be the newest ride technology at their theme parks.

The “force jacket” weighs five pounds and has 26 different air bags that inflate or deflate to help simulate the physical experiences the user is seeing while wearing a VR headset, or at least that is the goal of the jacket. Software controls the airbags in the front, back, arms, and sides to make the user feel like they are experiencing what they’re watching unfold in front of them.

Three apps were developed by the team to test the jacket, which were a snowball throwing game (testing the feeling of being hit by a snowball), a snake simulator (to test a snake moving around on the user), and a muscle growing game (to feel like the user is experiencing rapid muscle growth, like the Hulk.)

Will this technology be used in the theme parks? Only time will tell, but with the amount of money and effort being put into the tech by Disney, it sure looks like they are hoping it will be implemented.

SOURCE: The Verge

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Finn

A soccer and theme park fanatic. I write articles for WDWNT when I'm not editing the Podcast or making videos for Facebook. Otherwise, I'm on Twitter tweeting nonsense under the @FinnFromNY handle. You can contact me at [email protected]

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  • The Star Wars immersive hotel experience will be all virtual and guests will sleep (be enslaved) in my executive jackets in the DHS parking lot and become my souless clone robot army and help me take over the world

  • How I see this new tech possibly being implemented in a theme park ride scenario, is not in its current vest type format, but being integrated into the ride vehicle itself. I would imagine that the vest “format” is to allow them easy access to all the components as they develop it. Using a vest or any type of “clothing” that requires an individual to put on and take off would not work in the environment of a ride where the speed of getting people off and on a ride is a high priority. In addition, all the pneumatic tubes in a wearable format would give it an extremely high failure potential. But if this were integrated into a ride vehicles seats or ride system, similar to the harness from the Lilo and Stich attraction and Pandora world of flight, would eliminate potential many failure points and issues with guests putting and taking off something as complex as this vest. This type of new technology is a good step in the direction that Disney is taking its parks with their new focus being on creating a totally immersive environment.

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