Disney Files Patent for Augmented Reality Device

An application just popped up on the US Patent & Trademark Office from Disney detailing an augmented reality device. Filed back in June 2011, it details techniques for displaying content via an ARD, such as providing a scene for display captured by multiple cameras that adjust characteristics of it for optimal viewing. The scene can then have data displayed about it to improve realism and provide information — all of which is standard for such a device.

The claims of the application go into detail about how exactly functionality would work, including the use of accelerometers, user-facing cameras and software for setting it all into motion. The most interesting thing in the entire patent, however, is the claim for a physical handheld augmented reality device. The device is said to use a processor, memory, multiple cameras and base what displays on the position of the user — again all standard stuff, but the fact that Disney wants to create their own handheld device to do it is what’s interesting.

An image was submitted along with the patent that looks very much like a standard DS or 3DS:

The mock-up is intriguing given that the functionality Disney describes sounds very much like the experience Nintendo’s handheld would provide. Given the similarity and the fact that the application is a year and a half old, it’s doubtful these are plans for the long-rumored Disney gaming console, but likely a ARD-only device from the mouse house meant to cash in on what is thought to be a big-trend in the future.

We could also see the device being used at DisneyParks locations, used to enhance viewer’s experience without the need for a tour guide. What do you think? Sound off below.