Hey Thrill Seekers,
Lets talk LIGHTSABERS!!
We came across a patent at the beginning of this year which looked as though it was Disney’s door to having pretty much real life lightsabers in their park when Galaxy’s Edge opens HOWEVER a new patent has recently been filed which also points to lightsabers but using completely different and more realistic technology.
Let’s take a look at what we learned in Jan and what we’ve learned today..
Back in January Disney filed a patent called ‘audience interaction projection system’ which looked like they were developing a system that will allow guests to ‘carry a physical hilt that can interact with an augmented reality apparatus of some type.‘
According to the patent the physical hilt would contain positioning and motion sensors – like a Wii controller. The patent didn’t specifically mention Star Wars however they do look like weapons in lightsaber shapes and it mentioned ways in which users can use the technology to interact with the environment and fight enemies.
The patent stated the following:
“An audience interaction projection system provides a lighting feature that provides a new way for an audience member to participate in an entertainment experience; e.g., theatrical performance, theme park feature, concert, sporting event, movie, etc. The audience member may actually feel as if they are launching powerful beams of laser-like light toward objects on the stage.”
The patent also appeared to discuss drones and how the ‘lightsabers’ could communicate with drones.. It stated “Multiple LEDs can be activated in sequence at various times to give the user the impression that the movement by the user of the faux lightsaber is deflecting multiple laser beams,”
From what we understood from this patent back in January, there is a projector beaming light toward it. The projector technology would then be able to project visible light that is invisible until it hits the intended device — again, a lightsaber — and “rendering the visible light as a beam that appears to emanate from the object rather than from the light source.”
Now this patent shows a completely different and in my opinion, more realistic way to bring lightsabers to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Called ‘Sword Device with Retractable, Internally Illuminated Blade’ shows a lightsaber style design which allows the ‘beam’ to shoot out of the hilt and retract in a way that is more realistic than the current replica’s and toys you can purchase which are either triangle shaped or you end up having to screw the blade in.
The patent application states:
“Briefly, the inventors recognised that there was a need for a new special effects device that can be used as a theatrical prop, toy, or collector’s item that effectively simulates fictional energy swords including the lightsabers found in many popular films. Particularly, the special effects device (or energy sword, lightsaber prop, or the like) is specially configured to provide an extendable and retractable energy blade that appears to emanate from a handheld hilt due to a lighting effect that appears to provide bright hilt-based lighting.”
In a post by wdwinfo.com they break down the idea of this patent to a simpler explanation.. “The idea behind how it works is genius, because it is based in an action many of us nerds performed in our youth (or last Tuesday). Have you ever extended a tape measure and retracted it, pretending it was a lightsaber? I have, and I had no idea that what I was doing would be used by Disney inventors years later. Imagine two tape measures, both with half-circle cross sections, placed together to create a tube. Disney’s lightsaber hilt would include two spools, one for each half of a cylinder; when extended by a motor the spools would shoot out the two halves, joining them together and producing a lightsaber-blade shape. The opening of the hilt is shaped to overlap the sides or “zip” them together, making for one solid blade. A lightsaber’s gotta light, so LEDs or other lighting elements could be affixed to the “tape” to create the effect, evened out by an anisotropic diffuser to give the appearance of one long, solid light.”
This technology could be used for lightsabers to be purchased in the parks and hotel, for shows that will take place in Galaxy’s Edge and of course for collectors to add to their stashes. 😉
Now I think what we’ve seen in the second patent will be what Disney go with, do you? Obviously Disney file patents all the time with some never coming to life but I think this really goes to show that they are working real hard towards having light sabers in the parks for Galaxy’s Edge.