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Using technology to create magic

Posted by on October 8, 2012 – 2:30 pm

This post originally appeared on Main St. Monitor. It is reprinted here with the author’s permission.

When you think Disney, you think princesses, castles, children and fun. At least, if you think of Disney in a broad, stereo typical sense. If I think of Disney, I get all analytical and start rambling off facts and information people generally don’t care about.

When you ask a tech-blog like Engadget about Disney, they might give you the stereotypical response. Considering that they only cover the company when it makes news that wouldn’t be out of place next to a high-performance camera or a rant about the new iPhone, they might give you their view of the more technological, innovative part of Disney.

Yeah, Disney is in Pittsburgh.

Why? Because it partners with “Carnegie Mellon University…which has one of the country’s top five graduate programs in computer science, and is particularly strong in robotics, computer vision, human-computer interaction (HCI), speech understanding, and machine learning,” according to the lab’s website.

The Engadget article was about 3D printing, which is the new big thing in the tech world. Wired Magazine featured MakerBot, the leader in 3D printing, on the cover of its October design issue, with the headline: “The New MakerBot Replicator Might Just Change Your World.”

Disney is experimenting with “‘printed optics,’ the lure of (the) technology (being) the ability to transform inert 3D models into interactive subjects by embedding 3D printed light piping into an object with minimal electronic components,” according to theEngadget article.

What does this mean? Well, to everyday people who enjoy Disney for its use of high-tech to nearly imitate magic, it means Disney is just being it’s awesome self. The tech could be included in things in the parks or in consumer products, but wherever it’s implemented, Disney will no doubt make it seem like magic, when really it’s just good ol’ math, science and advanced technology. That’s why we love ya, Disney: you take nerdy things and use them to create a world of fantasy.

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