A new installation called Magic Bench lets an entire group of people share in AR experiences

Disney, known for bringing people together to share experiences, is hoping to do so with augmented reality. Disney Research has created the Magic Bench, which combines augmented and mixed reality for a group of people to interact with together.

Using a camera and depth sensor, Magic Bench creates a 3D reaction of the visitor to the bench, allowing virtual characters and objects to interact with the participant as though they were real. The bench is the integral part of the system as it communicates how many people are sitting on it and which way they are facing. The experience is dictated by how many people are involved and what they're doing.

The possibilities of Magic Bench are extensive, especially considering how it could be applied to a theme park setting where guests play with their favorite animated characters. The bench would also allow you to share virtual interfaces or presentations with others in a meeting room. The biggest barrier for the bench currently is that creating a shared experience doesn't depend on a prop, so it requires more advanced technology than that for AR with one person in the scene.

Disney Research

Disney, known for bringing people together to share experiences, is hoping to do so with augmented reality. Disney Research has created the Magic Bench, which combines augmented and mixed reality for a group of people to interact with together.

Using a camera and depth sensor, Magic Bench creates a 3D reaction of the visitor to the bench, allowing virtual characters and objects to interact with the participant as though they were real. The bench is the integral part of the system as it communicates how many people are sitting on it and which way they are facing. The experience is dictated by how many people are involved and what they're doing.