Disney Accelerator showcase hints at future attraction tech trends

Disney has showcased several of the companies it works with in its Disney Accelerator programme – offering a glimpse into the future trends in attractions tech.

This is the fifth year of the Disney Accelerator, and over the time almost 50 companies have been part of the programme. They are showcased at the annual Demo Day, which this year took place on October 10.

Disney’s Accelerator program connects select companies from around the world with the team at Disney. The companies receive unique access to Disney’s leadership team, mentorship, and support.

Michael Abrams, Senior Vice President of Innovation at The Walt Disney Company, said: “Over the past five years, we’ve had the privilege of working with leading entrepreneurs from around the world and exploring collaborations with the potential to change the landscape of media and entertainment. Our portfolio of Disney Accelerator companies has collaborated with our businesses to drive innovation, developing cutting-edge technology and creating incredible new products. We look forward to continuing to multiply those efforts industry-wide for years to come.”

The Accelerator companies are developing areas such as audio, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality and eSports.

The Demo Day was livestreamed by ABC News.

Disney Accelerator companies

Aaptiv: Ethan Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Aaptiv, described how Aaptiv is creating fitness content that is entertaining and effective, predominately through audio. The app has over 200,000 members who take more than 30,000 of Aaptiv’s audio-guided classes each day.

Unsupervised: Noah Horton, Founder and CEO of Unsupervised, spoke about his company’s role in finding hidden insights in company’s data. Horton said that most AI was built on “supervised learning” which relied on human input, and therefore can “scale our ignorance”. Unsupervised has built an AI based on unsupervised learning that finds actionable insights in data without requiring human guidance or supervision.

HopSkipDrive: CEO Joanna McFarland spoke about mobility, “providing access to the experiences that shape who you are as a person.” HopSkipDrive helps families transport their children with safe, vetted drivers. The company is a leader in technology-enabled ride services for kids.

Caffeine: Ben Keighran founded Caffeine, a social broadcasting platform for live gaming, entertainment, and creative arts. Keighran said that traditional live TV was not harnessing the trends and developments observed in the worlds of gaming – including purchasable goods and social interaction.

Other companies showcased at the Demo Day included BYJU, India’s largest edtech company; Ubiquity6,  a massively multiplayer augmented reality platform; and Uncharted Power, an award-winning renewable power company that specializes in harnessing the energy from motion.