Disney researchers develop fireworks show for the blind

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (WHDH) – At the end of each day, Magic Kingdom and other Disney theme parks host a fireworks show for guests. This is a tradition dating back many years, but now Disney has created a show for those who are blind.

According to The Disney Blog, a Disney research lab in Zurich has developed technology to help those who are blind experience the fireworks show in a unique way.

In the video below, the research group shows how the process would work.

Essentially, the new technology would allow visually-impaired guests to “feel” the fireworks by placing their hands on a screen while water jets spray on the back of the screen. This will allow guests to feel the shape of the fireworks that light up the skies over the theme parks.

In a Disney research lab report, researchers said:

“Tactile effects are created using directable water jets that spray onto the rear of a flexible screen, with different nozzles for different firework effects. Our approach is low-cost and scales well, and allows for dynamic tactile effects to be rendered with high spatial resolution. A user study demonstrated that the tactile effects are meaningful analogs to the visual fireworks that they represent, with sighted users able to label the correct correspondence of tactile-to-visual effects by a large margin over chance. Beyond the specific application, the technology represents a novel and cost-effective approach for making large scalable tactile displays, with the potential for wider use.”

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)