the hills walls are alive…

The latest innovation to come out of the Disney Research / Carnegie Mellon partnership would basically move sensors into the very structures around us to enable interaction.

As they say, they’ve created Smart Walls that “function as a gigantic trackpad, sensing a user and their movements. Rather than using a camera to locate a user and track their movement, as other systems do, this system relies on a grid of “large electrodes” covered in a layer of water-based paint that conducts electricity. 

The result: a wall so smart, it could play a game of vertical Twister with you, and also tell if you were cheating. It can even sense if you’re holding a hair dryer really close to it through electromagnetic resonance…users could play video games by using different poses to control them, change the channel on their TV with a wave of their arm, or slap the wall directly to turn off the lights, no need for light switches.”

Why It’s Hot:

Previously, we’ve relied on hardware to do the kind of sensing, responding, and controlling that the Smart Wall concept would. Things like Microsoft Kinect, or controlling our lights through Philips Hue on our smartphone. Having this capability fade into the background could basically allow us to control our spaces as if by magic.


Disney’s Real-Time Rotten Tomatoes

Disney is using new deep learning software to analyze movie-goers’ facial expressions and gauge how much they’re enjoying a film.

The innovation within the new system is an algorithm that Disney and Caltech call factorised variational autoencoders (FVAEs), which use deep learning technology to automatically turn facial expressions into numerical data, and is able to incorporate metadata.

Combining the FVAE algorithm with infrared cameras, Disney can analyse the facial expressions of moviegoers in a cinema as they react to what they’re being shown on screen. With enough information, the new technology can even predict how an audience member will react to upcoming scenes after just 10 minutes of observation.

Why It’s Hot

  • Technology could be used to tailor a film to an audience in real time, bringing in a new aspect of personalization to cinema
  • Data gathered and analyzed can be funneled into other developing AI systems where picking up cues from their body language to be able to better assist (e.g. robot babysitters)
  • Raises the question of how this will impact the movies we end up being exposed to with this AI now acting as the gatekeeper between us and the next Sharknado



disney creates a magical bench…

…you could interact with pretty much anything your mind can dream up.

Disney Research developed a somewhat lo-fi solution for mixed reality that requires no special glasses or singularity type of stuff. Its “Magic Bench” allows people to interact with things that aren’t there, watching the action in 3rd person view, on a screen broadcasting them. It even provides haptic feedback to make it feel like the imaginary character or object truly is on the bench with you.

Why It’s Hot:

1) It’s a great example of technology enabling a physical experience without getting in the way. Historically, augmented/mixed reality required some type of personal technology like glasses/headset, or a phone. This requires nothing from the user but their presence.

2) It shows how Disney is using technology to create experiences that extend its “magical” brand into the digital age.


The Void is Making a Location-Based Star Wars VR Experience at Disney

The Void is known for making “Hyper-Reality” experiences, much more involved than your standard VR experience. The Ghostbusters experience they have in NYC (Which i still haven’t gone to but totes want to if anyone wants to make the field trip) involves users actually physically walking around a plywood maze while wearing HTC Vives, haptic feedback vests, and unique controllers to fully immerse users in the experience. They also have environmental effects like changes in temperature, fans to simulate windy areas, furniture and other props for users to touch and feel like what they see in VR is really there in front of them.

Ghostbusters VR Experience for Reference:

Why It’s Hot:

  • The Void was a startup not that long ago with big dreams that seemed impossible, now they have 4 successful location-based VR experiences in 4 major cities and opening a new one at the holy grail of experiences, Disney.
  • They seem to be the leaders now in this Location-Based VR experiences.
  • Great reference when create completely immersive VR experiences for users.

More Info Here.



Disney to Release Kid-Friendly Wearable Technology

elseDisney will be releasing new technology called Playmation which will encourage children to run around outside and use their imagination with the use of technology.

What is Playmation? Disney describes it as a new system of wearable technology and smart toys that it hopes will “inspire kids to run around and use their imaginations.”

Think laser tag with interactive Disney smart toys. The first series of Playmation, Marvel’s Avengers ($120), is slated to come out in October. With Playmation Marvel, kids wear a repulsor – or electronic brace – on their arm. Like Iron Man, Jarvis – his artificially intelligent butler – assigns kids a mission on the repulsor.

Other missions can be obtained via a smartphone application. While wearing the repulsor, kids can place a power activator or base station with a smart character on top nearby (15 to 20 feet maximum range), and from there they can shoot it down and make the character eject.

Playmation will not be exclusive to Marvel characters; there will also be a Star Wars version and a Frozen version. You can be Iron Man or Elsa.

Source: Disney Rolling Out New ‘Smart’ Toys

Why It’s Hot:

With the raid advancement of technology, there has been a pressing concern that children are not as active as they once were. This new wearable, kid-friendly technology will encourage kids to be more active and use their imaginations.

The Curated Experience: Like Disney, Like Pharma

Some of the top line lessons for marketers from Disney are centered on the way people are treated and how the experience is curated. There is an important place for curated experiences in pharmaceutical marketing and we can learn a few lessons from Disney.

Attention to detail

On every ride there are access corridors, stairs, and pathways for the crews to clean and maintain them. These utilitarian areas are still branded with the ride’s theme right down to the railings and door designs. They probably change to unadorned stairwells and metal doors inside the attraction and away from guests’ eyes and experience but as far as the customer experience is concerned the ride’s theme carries on forever.


For a company with many brands and a consolidated call center make sure that therehumira-website-300x300 are scripts and protocols available for each patient and brand. For brands with multiple indications look closely at how patients are treated at the front door. The best experience is one where each condition has its own site. Next best is one where the user’s choice is remembered so that they see the most relevant information on subsequent visits. Remember, even if you have an 85% “first visit” rate, those 15% of return visitors are probably mostly made up of your patients.

You’re never rushed

Disney has technology to optimize the guest’s experience, but lines can still be long. When my daughter waited in line to see her favourite characters there was a line a mile long behind us. When talking with the characters she wasn’t rushed or snubbed, the experience was fulfilling and worth the wait.


Your patients have often been through a long journey to get to their script, take the time to really curate an experience for them and make them feel valued. This can be an extra couple of minutes on a phone call, a call center script that offers more options, a more complete digital experience, or even a retargeting campaign centered on services for patients rather than just selling the brand.

Technology set to “help”

The FastPass system at Disney is absolutely genius. For those who haven’t visited recently, the FastPass system is available to all park visitors and essentially ensures that every guest will have a great experience on at least three rides. They limit the number of FastPass guests for rides in one-hour periods so that they can manage the lines. This provides a better experience for guests who aren’t standing in line all day and frees up their time to buy food and Disney merchandise.


What could your patients do with extra time? There are often ways to curate their experience to assist with the journey. Can specialists be found nearby? When filling a script are there nearby pharmacies or even specialty mail-order pharmacies available?

For your writing physicians, are there ways you can make their lives easier? Most rare disease claims require prior authorization forms, are there ways that your information can be organized to help them? Even better, is your payer marketing program set up to make their lives as easy as possible?

Why It’s Hot: The Disney experience is something that is not replicated in other theme parks but which pays dividends in terms of revenue per guest and repeat visits. Look to your own customer experiences and ask the question: what would Disney do?

Source: Klick Health

What Disney World’s MagicBands can teach us about the convergence of mobile, data, and more

Blending the vacation and work! I was a beta tester for DisneyWorld’s MagicBands (an integrated offering of wearable device, mobile app, website, personalized service and even ecommerce). While it has some bugs, the MagicBands manage your access to park, rides and resort; broadcast your profile and preferences to park employees including character handlers (so your child is greeted by name by the character), enables commerce with a swipe, and manages your “exclusive” fast entry onto selected experiences.


Venture Beat on Disney MagicBands

Why Its Hot

A fusion of wearable, mobile, big data, geo-location, commerce and personalization that delivers a superior user experience (so far, to those savvy enough to use the system to its fullest). Access to park, room key, syncing photos from roaming park photographers, purchasing merchandise, reserving spots on rides, pre-ordering dinner, notifying employees of you/your childs identity and prefernces… they have the infrastructure to enable a very rich experience.



Dish-Disney Shake Up The Cable TV Status Quo

Score equal victories for the mouse and the kangaroo.  In a move with profound implications for how we watch our favorite shows and other content, Dish Network and Disney announced this week an agreement allowing Dish to stream Disney content over the Internet, without a video subscription, similar to Netflix. The deal includes ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel.  Importantly, Dish agreed to disable its DVR auto-hop feature for the first three days of showing new content.  This means that Dish’s viewers will see ads provided by Disney, which will protect the network’s advertiser revenue.

Why It’s Hot

The cable TV viewing experience is migrating toward Internet TV, where bundled subscriptions don’t exist, individual networks provide their own streaming content over the web, and content is available on all your mobile devices, from smartphones to tablets. Netflix and agreements such as Dish/Disney are forcing traditional content providers, such as Cablevision, to rethink their basic strategies as the shift toward Internet -provided content promises to transform an entire industry.

Disney reveals Apple-powered digital movie service

The Walt Disney Studios has launched its much-anticipated cloud-based service that lets users purchase Disney, Marvel and Pixar movies for streaming on TVs, desktops and mobile devices. The Disney Movies Anywhere service, which is free, is closely integrated with Apple’s iTunes and is initially available only on iOS mobile devices.


Read more @ The New York Times.

Why It’s Hot

Two years ago the company declined to participate in a digital movie storage and management system called UltraViolet, even though every other major film studio signed on. At the time, Disney was worried that families were not yet ready to embrace cloud storage technology. Also, UltraViolet developed partnerships with major digital movie retailers like Best Buy and Walmart, but lacked a direct tie to iTunes, which controls roughly 60 percent of digital movie purchases.

Today, digital movie libraries are becoming the modern-day equivalent of rec room shelves lined with DVDs. Disney Movies Anywhere aims to make collecting Disney films easier: buy a Disney, Marvel or Pixar movie once and watch it on any web-ready TV, mobile device or computer. Link your Apple iTunes accounts with the Disney Movies Anywhere website and app.