Disney Research develops interactivity solutions

Disney Research is using Artificial Intelligence to develop  an event-based interactive storytelling system for virtual 3D environments – allowing the user to control the outcome of a story.

By analysing the user’s engagement with elements of the story based on proximity, interaction patterns and visibility, the system finds the best “narrative trajectory”, to generate a unique and personalised story for each user.

Disney Research used a sample story about a Haunted Castle. There were three story graphs – one representing the main narrative and two providing additional information. Where the author wanted the user to encounter additional information, the computer determined which would be of most interest to the user.

The user also has the option to trigger interaction events, which forces the experience manager to reconfigure the story, so the narrative still makes sense.

The story could be told using virtual reality or augmented reality.

Netflix is also putting money into interactivity. The streaming company has revealed that it will introduce interactive TV specials to allow viewers to choose their own ending for some specials within series 5 of Black Mirror.

The streaming service has already experimented with choose-your-own-adventure animated kids programme Puss in Book.

There are also already media based attractions that enable guests to have a different adventure each time they ride. Six Flags Galactic Attack VR coaster has four different endings depending which drone bay riders choose to dock in, with a hard-to-access one for the best pilots. New technology like Alterface’s NOMAD wireless wandsTriotech’s VR mazes and Zero Latency’s free roam multiplayer VR promise to further blur the line between gaming and LBE.

Disney Research has been behind numerous innovations this year. In May, they designed a conductive paint that can be applied to any wall to make the surface interactive.

The team also developed a jacket that can provide physical sensations to accompany what you see in virtual reality or augmented reality experiences.

Like patents, the topics of Disney Research can offer insight into the company’s future plans – however some of the developments never see the light of day.