Disney Patents "Real" Lightsabers for Star Wars Land

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 - 2:27PM
Science of Sci-Fi
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 - 2:27PM
Disney Patents "Real" Lightsabers for Star Wars Land
Is Disney trying to build real-life lightsabers for their Star Wars theme park? Well, no, not in the sense that they're forming a child army wielding actual weapons, but they have just published a patent for simulated lightsabers that will feel very real.

The patent, filed in August 2015 and published today, is for an "Audience Interaction projection system," which will allow users to wield lightsabers without any of the hand-lopping abilities. As the patent explains:
Opening quote
"A process and system capture invisible radiation that is reflected or emitted from an object to precisely locate the object. The process and system project visible light from a light source toward the object such that the light is precisely targeted at the object. Preferably, the visible light passes through an atmosphere containing particulate matter rendering the visible light as a beam that appears to emanate from the object rather than from the light source."
Closing quote

Essentially, this is patent-speak for a very advanced light show. For the attraction, the surrounding air would be filled with fog or mist, so water or nitrogen particles would be suspended in the air. Then the audience members would activate the hilt of their "lightsabers" which would contain LEDs that will both emit light like a lightsaber and transmit an IR beam to drones in the air that determine exactly where the audience member is in space. Then, the drones would blast visible light through the particulate matter, or mist, towards the lightsaber, which would include haptic feedback so the user could feel a recoil from deflecting the blast. 

So yes, this isn't an actual plasma laser sword, but it's probably the closest to real-life lightsabers we're ever going to get without risking life and limb. If Disney actually uses this as part of an attraction, then we'll be able to wield lightsabers, fight off blasts, and actually feel the light swords deflect things. If that's not getting us close to being real-life Jedi, I don't know what is.

Via Slashfilm

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