Who says only seeing is believing? If Disney has anything to do with it, touching is, too. The company recently announced they’re working on fireworks that rely on touch rather than sight—and it’s bound to create a boom for the visually-impaired.
Dubbed “Feeling Fireworks,” the prototype uses haptic feedback technology, which creates vibrations a user can feel. In this instance, a person stands in front of a flexible, touchable screen on the back of which five water jets are sprayed to create different patterns that resemble fireworks.
“There are three jet nozzles for creating rockets and explosions, one shower nozzle for creating crackle effects and one nozzle with a novel design for a blooming flower effect,” according to the study’s paper presented at the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology in Quebec City, Canada.
Check out how it works in this video:
Paul Beardsley of Disney Research in Zurich, Switzerland, said the goal is for everyone “to depart with a shared and enjoyable memory of a fireworks evening.”
While the program, which was designed with help from the Swiss Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, will undoubtedly create a unique experience for those unable to see such a spectacle in its traditional form, researchers believe the experience will have mass appeal, too: “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.”
There’s no word yet on whether Feeling Fireworks will be exhibited at any of the Disney parks, but researchers suggest this new experience could be a feast for (almost!) all the senses. People would be able to feel the fireworks while also watching them on a screen (or in the sky) and listening to the explosions.
Talk about total sensory overload!