There’s a great disturbance in the metaverse — Disney, the largest media company in the world, has just joined the race to conquer the digital world. By doing so, Disney followed in the footsteps of companies like Nvidia, Microsoft and IBM, which are currently working on their own metaverse projects, and of brands like Adidas and Nike, which have already established presence in the metaverse.
In 2021, the focus of blockchain enthusiasts and cryptocurrency investors was almost totally captivated by NFTs. Like no crypto trend ever before, digital collectibles managed to gain truly widespread popularity and rapidly became popular among VIPs, celebrities and multi-billion dollar brands.
But when Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook announced that it will change the company name to Meta in October 2021, all hell broke loose and another hot crypto trend emerged. Blockchain and NFT projects were the first to jump on the metaverse bandwagon, but very soon, multi-billion dollar tech giants followed.
Disney has just announced that a patent for a “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue”, initially filed in July 2020, was recently approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
While the patent precedes Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, and although the term “metaverse” is nowhere to be found, Disney’s idea is clearly an attempt to build an immersive, interactive virtual reality — and possibly the most advanced one so far.
But how will Disney’s metaverse work exactly, and why does it have a chance of being truly revolutionary for the whole ecosystem?
Disney’s metaverse patent is not just yet another low-effort attempt to capitalize on the metaverse FOMO. When we take a closer look at the media giant’s patent, it becomes clear that Disney’s metaverse concept might be the most technologically advanced metaverse project in existence — possibly greatly surpassing Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta.
To understand what’s so groundbreaking about Disney’s “virtual-world simulator in a real-world venue”, we first have to understand the limitations of the current metaverse projects — the dependence on Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) devices, such as VR headsets and AR glasses.
VR and AR devices have been around for decades, but they never gained mainstream popularity. That’s why Disney’s metaverse will be so revolutionary — it won’t use any VR and AR devices at all, and visitors of Disney’s theme parks around the world will be able to experience the merge of metaverse and real life.
So how will it work exactly? In theory, it doesn’t seem that complicated: Disney’s technology would track your smartphone, and then use your exact location data to project 3D metaverse assets on objects near you, such as walls.
According to Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek, the ultimate goal of the project is building a metaverse which would bridge virtual and physical reality:
“We’ll be able to connect the physical and digital worlds even more closely, allowing for storytelling, without boundaries in our own Disney’s metaverse.”
Unfortunately, there’s just one catch: Disney’s groundbreaking metaverse still remains just a patent, with no specific plan for an actual roll-out. So if you’re excited to see how the metaverse according to Disney will look like, you might have to wait for a while.