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HoloTile: Disney reveals 'smart floor' that can be used alongside a VR headset

Disney unofficially presented a new technology that could solve one of the biggest problems in Virtual Reality (VR) today. The tool appears capable of allowing a user who has a headset on their face to move around without the person leaving their seat.

Called HoloTile, the equipment is a smart floor that acts like a treadmill. Each time the person starts walking in one direction, it adjusts in the opposite direction to generate the sensation of movement without the user taking their feet off the surface.

The news was revealed in the clip below, starting at 3 minutes and 20 seconds into the video. In the material, it is possible to see the invention in detail and also its basic functioning.

According to the demonstration, the floor is made up of a series of mobile units and sensors, controlled by a computer that records movement.

The possible applications of HoloTile

The person responsible for the novelty is Lanny Smootwhat is imagineer (the equivalent of inventor at Disney) with the company for 25 years. Lanny also has a long career in the telecommunications area and already has more than 100 patents registered in his name.

He became the second company employee to be inducted into the United States Inventors Hall of Fame, behind only Walt Disney himself.

One of the possible uses of HoloTile in combination with Virtual Reality.Source: Disney

But, after all, where can HoloTile be used? According to Lanny, there are a huge number of possible applications for the technology, but not even the team knows where it will be used in practice.

Possibilities include attractions in Disney parks themselves, dance or acting shows and even varied interactive experiencessuch as simulators and games.

“Imagine a number of people in one room, but being able to be in another place collaboratively, moving around and seeing landscapes. Imagine theatrical stages that could have this built into them, so that dancers can make incredible movements”, explains the inventor.

The look of HoloTile.The look of HoloTile.Source: Disney

So far, there is no forecast for HoloTile to be made available to the public or to Disney itself. The company has several inventions that remain in laboratories for years before being applied commercially — and even without guarantees that this will actually happen.

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