Disney is currently one of the most successful companies in the world. Aside from the fact that it’s the current owner of most movie and TV show franchises coming out this decade, its immensely famous fun parks are making billions of dollars every year. Not to mention that most recognizable characters today belong to Disney.
But it would seem like the company isn’t really King Midas, and not everything it touches turns into gold. Even though it is done with attempting to self-publish games and to make its toys-to-life Disney Infinity franchise popular, Disney and Carnegie Mellon innovate RFID controllers.
For those of you not in the know, RFID is short for Radio-frequency identification. It represents the wireless use of electromagnetic fields in order to transfer data in order to automatically identify and track tags that are attached to objects. These tags are tracked because they contain electronically stored information.
Scientists from Disney Research and the Carnegie Mellon University just showed off their prototypes of a new RFID game controller concept, demonstrating how moving the RFID-fitted objects instantly affects the position of their digital counterparts on the screen. Reducing the latency was the biggest challenge.
In order to limit that latency, the team developed a framework named RapID. This new framework greatly limited the latency, cutting it down from two seconds to two hundred milliseconds. Instead of waiting for the touch or movement to detect the input, RapID makes use of its complex algorithm based on probability to predict the best estimate of its trajectory, as well as whether the sensor has been covered or touched.
The recent presentation involved a large game of tic-tac-toe with a wooden board and wooden board pieces. The digital game featured on the computer screen mirrored the real world movements of the wooden counterparts. This technology, once perfected, could easily be used for more complex games, such as checkers or chess.
The RFID technology was chosen for this project because of the very cheap sensors it involves and because of the ability to integrate these into the game pieces without having to incorporate circuitry, wires and battery into the design. Each sensor only costs about ten cents.
While the new tech could have been used to save Disney’s toys-to-life Disney Infinity franchise if it were developed earlier, that is sadly not the case. So, even though the multibillion dollar company just perfected a RFID controllers, it proved to be too little and too late to compete against the likes of Nintendo’s Amiibo and Activision’s Skylanders.
Image source: YouTube
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