No One Gets to Miss Out Disney's Fireworks Display--Even Those Who are Visually Impaired!

Khryss | Published 2017-11-15 02:06

Disney for everyone! Thanks to these special water jets.

People say your Disney experience would be incomplete without the firework displays but those who are visually impaired actually miss out that part--which is a problem for Disney.

So, to cater everybody and have them enjoy this, they've created a new prototype system called Feeling Fireworks by Paul Beardsley of Disney Research in Zurich, Switzerland, and colleagues.

Having five jets to fire patterns of water at the back of a large screen, users just have to place their hands on it and feel the vibrations the same way those dots of light pops and expands in the sky.

 “For rockets, one feels pulses of vibration that travel up the tactile screen with stronger vibrational explosions at the apex,” says Beardsley. And for Catherine wheels, spiral patter can be felt with the vibrations.

“We want blind, visually impaired, and sighted people to all try Feeling Fireworks, and to depart with a shared and enjoyable memory of a fireworks evening,” he says. This touch firework show, however, is currently a standalone event. But who knows, right? With almost every public firework displays being run by computers, how about we synchronise it soon with an event’s main display?

The successful design of Feeling Fireworks was actualized due to the help of the Swiss Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. “But the design itself was only tested on sighted people – perhaps the next step for this group would be to test it with blind users,” says Sriram Subramanian at the University of Sussex.

The system has only two modes of operation as of now: either "you start your hands at the base of the screen and then move your hands to follow and locate the fireworks" or "start with their hands inside an ellipse placed in the centre of the screen".

Whoo-hoo! This actually even made me wonder now what fireworks feel like...

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