Disney adds digital features to traditional games, crafts

WASHINGTON (TIP): Disney researchers have developed several prototype apps that add computer-generated animation, sound and visuals to activities such as colouring books and games like scavenger hunts that require physical interaction.

Scientists at Disney Research say augmented reality with mobile devices serves as the perfect bridge between the two and can enhance creativity in the process.

To demonstrate their concept, called Augmented Creativity, researchers have developed several prototype mobile apps for such activities as colouring books, scavenger hunts and team games.

“Our research brings the seamless fusion of the real and virtual world together with an intelligent and creative gameplay,” said Markus Gross, vice president at Disney Research.

“We believe that these concepts offer exciting virtual enhancements over real-world interactions,” said Gross.

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“We have been able to use the power and popularity of mobile devices to direct renewed emphasis on traditional activities of creative play,” said Robert W Sumner, principal research scientist.

“One of our most compelling prototypes is an augmented-reality musical arrangement app that provides a tangible way for children to explore different music styles and arrangements by adding, removing, and re-arranging physical cards that represent different instruments and styles,” Sumner said.

“Another app, based on colouring, allows children to customise 3D animated characters simply by colouring them as they normally would in a colouring book,” Sumner said. In a prototype for a multi-player game, players each use a mobile tablet to track a virtual object as they move around and talk with each other to cooperatively frustrate an invading alien force.

They also developed a city-wide gaming framework, enabling the development of games such as scavenger hunts that get players outdoors, searching for interactive elements superimposed on buildings, parks and roads.

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