Walt Disney Imagineering has unveiled the world’s first-ever “multi-person, omnidirectional treadmill ground.” While the exact application of the “HoloTile Floor” technology still needs to be thoroughly explored, the advanced tiling currently allows users to walk in place as well as guide objects in a path across the floor matrix.
The invention comes from Lanny Smoot, who recently became the first Disney Imagineer to be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Smoot is only the second individual from the Walt Disney Company to receive the honour — the first being Walt Disney himself. In addition to the revolutionary “HoloTile Floor,” Smoot is also behind Madame Leota’s float inside the Haunted Mansion and Disney Park’s state-of-the-art Star Wars lightsabers.
The HoloTile Floor allows for multiple people to be on it, all of whom can be walking and exploring independently. Stepping onto the HoloTile is like stepping onto virtual land, bringing us yet another step closer to a Ready Player One future.
“Imagine a number of people in a room being able to be somewhere else collaboratively and moving around, doing, and sightseeing,” says Smoot. “Imagine theatrical stages that might have these embedded in them so that dancers can do amazing moves. There are just so many applications for this type of technology, and we don’t know yet where it will be used. ”
Take a look at the demonstration above and stay tuned for updates as the technology continues to be tested and developed.
Maria Malik is your guide to the immersive world of Virtual Reality (VR). With a passion for VR technology, she explores the latest VR headsets, applications, and experiences, providing readers with in-depth reviews, industry insights, and a glimpse into the future of virtual experiences.