Originally posted on TechCrunch:
In a session at GDC this morning, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Technologies Lead Bei Yang gave a talk about the work the entertainment giant has done with virtual reality.
By Yang’s account, Disney has been working with virtual reality headsets since the 1980s, with a lab at Epcot and a variety of hardware and software prototypes built, including in-depth experiences packaged as Disney Quest. But as a few consumer devices, like Nintendo’s Virtual Boy, failed in the mid-90s, interest in head-mounted displayed waned until the recent resurgence inspired by the Oculus Rift.
The Imagineering team continued to think about virtual reality, but approached it from a different angle. Instead of putting a display on your face, the team started investigating “caves,” which surround your field of view with high-resolution displays.
A lo-fi version of this experience was demonstrated with the “Soarin’ Over California” experience, which put you on a row of…
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