Disney Research Develops Augmented Reality Magic Bench

Sitting on the Magic Bench, designed by the Disney Research team, you immediately find yourself in the company of a baby elephant who will give you a glowing ball. At some point, you may be hit by a downpour. And right there you will find a donkey walking nearby, and he will be happy to keep you company.

Magic Bench is a project consisting of augmented and mixed reality, which is achieved without wearing bulky 3D devices on your head. Instead, the surrounding space is equipped with special equipment that erases the line between you and virtual reality.

Seeing invisible funny characters while sitting on the bench is helped by the large screen, which creates a third-person point of view. The image is generated using a digital camera and a Microsoft Kinect device. As a result of computer processing, the character and the participant find themselves in the same 3D space without overlapping one video stream on another.

According to the project's lead specialist Moshe Mahler, this platform allows you to get a multi-sensory immersion experience in augmented reality, when the group can interact with a virtual character - to hear, see and feel his presence nearby.

The feeling of the presence of a virtual character helps to form the bench itself. Thanks to the whole tactile system, it can simulate a shock when someone sits down, or various vibration effects that occur, for example, when a cartoon elephant snores.