This is really, really awesome and quite a bit technical, so bear with me:
Disney filed a patent today for a new technology for their theme parks. You can read the patent right here, but if you’re not an engineer and don’t have the time to break this down, don’t worry, we’re here for you. Here’s what this sucker seems to do, based on my limited understanding of technical speak:
Guests at the park will be given a device – examples in the patent include a badge or a hat – that emits an infrared beam. Detectors within the ride or experience space will track that infrared information, and use it to display lights within a 3D space. This could be used to give the guest the idea that they’re actively shooting lasers at the stage, or that they’re, you know, holding a lightsaber.
Unfortunately, the images associated with the patent are no longer available online, but for a brief moment when we could access them, one of them was of a setup very similar to the youngling lightsaber training sequences in Episode 2. Is Disney planning on giving us a Jedi training experience in the new Star Wars land? God, we hope so.
The only thing that I’m not sure will exist with this tech – because I have no idea how they’d pull it off – is some kind of feedback if your lightsaber hits something. But man, holding a handle and seeing a lightsaber blade ignite off of it is going to be one of the coolest feelings in the world.
More news as it develops, but what do you think?