A recently published patent from Universal describes a system that would allow for a one on one wand battle between two players, utilizing real electricity!
The patent describes how a user could hold a wand, or other pointing instrument, and where they aim it would send a nearby energy beam, making it look like it’s coming from your wand. A see-through wall separating two users would attract the beams, making it look like they’re meeting in the middle.
Let’s dive into the “Interactive Energy Effect Attraction” patent to see what Universal may have planned for this technology. (See the video below for my first reaction to reading the patent, or continue below for a full breakdown of the technology.)
It’s worth mentioning off the bat, that Universal often patents any and all ideas that they may have while developing attraction concepts, but they do not end up using them all. So, while this concept is intriguing, it may not be used as described. It does give us some insight into what type of experience they may have been dreaming up though!
There are rumors that Universal’s next theme park in Orlando, Epic Universe, will open with a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter land. This third Harry Potter land for the resort, after Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, is rumored to contain a ride set within the British Ministry of Magic, as well as some sort of theater show.
When looking through patents recently, I was purposely trying to find ones that could be for new technologies to be utilized within this new Wizarding land. Going by some of the included images and descriptions, it certainly sounds like this patent might be related!
As you can see in the first image above, the “Interactive Energy Effect Attraction” patent describes a scenario where two users hold an item and a beam of energy is released from an emitter nearby, which is positioned in a way that makes the beam look like it is coming from your hand-held device.
…the user performs a motion, e.g., using the user-associated object or a hand motion, corresponding to a battle move or specific gesture to initiate the battle scenario. The energy emitters then emit energy according to user’s motion…
The patent application gives examples on what type of hand-held object could be used, including a ray gun, a wand, a nozzle, or a sword. Although, of the possible scenarios, “wand” is used most often. The description even says the user will use their “spell-casting hand” at one point.
Figure 2, seen above, shows how the energy emitters (number 22 in the image) can move side to side to stay aligned with the users hand motions. But that’s not all that can move.
A clear piece of metallic glass placed between the two users can also move, (number 16 in the image). It can move closer or further from each player in the wand battle, depending on who is doing better.
The patent describes how each user could have a different color energy beam, and the beams would stop at this central piece of glass. As the battle continues, whoever is doing better will see their beams grow longer, and their opponent’s beam shrink smaller and smaller, like a magical tug of war.
This effect could look similar to wand battles, as they appear in the Harry Potter films, where two beams of magic meet in the middle.
The display track facilitates movement in the z-plane towards or away from the user as demonstrated by arrows (46)… The ability of the multi-layer display system (16) to shift towards a certain user in the z-plane facilitates communication of battle information to the user (e.g. user recognition of progress, how well the user is performing the associated movements, and status of user in battle in a battle scenario)…
Another possible concept from the document would include a transparent OLED screen within the central metallic glass layer. This could display instructions or user score data, almost like a head’s up display in a video game.
This on-screen data might be useful in a single-player implementation, but a see-through screen layer could also be used to add additional energy effects visible to each of the players in a battle scenario.
The patent description contains multiple instances of how this effect could be achieved, including the use of real electricity and/or special effects.
The visible energy emission effect could be “plasma bolts,” or other “visible energy effects, such as light beams, electrical effects, lighting effects, media projection effects, augmented reality effects, pyrotechnics, vapor effects, or any combination thereof.”
The energy emitter, in an embodiment, may include a Tesla coil gun that, in operation, emits visible energy bolts or arcs, e.g., referred to as the plasma bolts, using a double-tuned resonant transformer to produce high voltages at low currents.
The energy beam would be absorbed by the metallic transparent layer between two users in a battle scenario, or in front of a target during a single-user scenario. This special multiple-layer plane could contain a layer for absorbing the energy, a layer for helping to direct where the energy hits the target, as well as a transparent screen, as described above.
Figure 5 illustrates a possible single-player scenario, where the user would cast magic onto a prop or within an interactive environment.
…the user may interact to emit energy towards the show prop. The show prop can include a robotic device, display screen, special effect system, or any combination thereof that produces a special effect audibly, haptically, visually, or otherwise.
The document says this energy beam concept could be used to “further immerse the guest within the particular attraction, ride, or interactive experience.”
Maybe we could see it used as a special effect within the new ride we believe is coming to Epic Universe, or maybe utilized within the theater show, or even some interactive experiences around the land.
What do you think? Is this the next evolution of the interactive wand controlled window effects currently seen in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, or would something like this only be utilized within a special show or on a ride?
Or have I been reading this all wrong, and it’s for an interactive Ghostbusters experience instead!? Leave a comment with your thoughts. And check out today’s video for more details on this patent.
That’s all for now, but if you’d like to bring a piece of the parks home, Souvenir Scents has candles and wax melts that smell like the Butterbeer, the ET ride, and even HHN houses. Save 15% off every order with my promo code PARKSTOP at SouvenirScents.com.
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