However, Disney has just released info on its new technology Touché, which will not only change the face of the theme park industry, it may change the world, leaving many, many companies in the dust.
Here is the official discription.
"Touché proposes a novel Swept Frequency Capacitive Sensing technique that can not only detect a touch event, but also recognize complex configurations of the human hands and body. Such contextual information significantly enhances touch interaction in a broad range of applications, from conventional touchscreens to unique contexts and materials. For example, in our explorations we add touch and gesture sensitivity to the human body and liquids. We demonstrate the rich capabilities of Touché with five example setups from different application domains and conduct experimental studies that show gesture classification accuracies of 99% are achievable with our technology."
Some of the applications they describe are mediocre at best to what applications really may be paramount. However, can you imagine what this could do to Disney parks?
Disney Research Pittsburgh is a project that combines the efforts of Walt Disney Company with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
If you recall, Randy Pausch, the inspirational Last Lecture Imagineer, was from CMU's Entertainment Technology Center. CMU is the alma mater of many Imagineers.Tweet
I had a woman right in front of me in a brand new Lexus SUV scrape the daylights out her rims because the was texting and driving this afternoon. I couldn't help but laugh at her going nuts about the damage (while still holding her precious iPhone).
I Respond: Why would they need to respond to such attractions? Do you believe they are on some sort of deadline?
I Respond: Actually they can. But to do so would require shutting the attraction down for a significant period of time.
OT writes: "... and their newest attraction, the Little Mermaid is the same old omnimover we have seen a thousend times."
I Respond: And it thrills millions of small children and their families annually.
OT writes: Disney = boring and incompetent.
I Respond: Um ... "incompetent?" The Los Angeles Times reported on February 7, 2012: “Disney said revenue for parks and resorts rose 10% to $3.2 billion in the (first quarter of 2012), compared with a year earlier, and that operating income increased 18% to $553 million. The company said visitors were spending more at its domestic parks.”
It seems to me they know what they are doing.
That's equivalent to its annual price increases. So Disney's performance is actually flat.
I Respond: Do you have a source for that? Any published, qualified analysis confirming that assessment? Or any industry analyst contending the parks' performance were flat?
You call that a response? Normally a response should continue with "you're wrong" or "you're right". In your case, you ask for more studies, while not even bothering to defend your original premise that Disney is doing fine. Okay, so you don't like what I wrote.
So I simply asked a couple of questions: Do you have a source for that? Any published, qualified analysis confirming that assessment? Or any industry analyst contending the parks' performance were flat?
After I read your post I searched the net and looked for any analysis indicating that the parks' performance was "flat." I fould some analysis confirming that the revenue was in part due to increases in average ticket prices (meaning guests buying packages with a higher average price). But those same sources indicated that the revenue increase was also due to a 2% increase in park attendance -- meaning the revenue upswing was also the result of increased attendance (above both 2010 and 2009 numbers). The increase in revenue was also attributed to greater guest spending in the parks.
Having said this, I could not find any analyst that has looked at what the company reported and, in turn, catagorized the performance as "flat."
So you don't like what I wrote since you obviously didn't take my word for it and preferred a better authority.
"Having said this, I could not find any analyst that has looked at what the company reported and, in turn, catagorized the performance as "flat." "
Should I say congratulations?!!!
I Respond: I didn't indicate whether or not I "like" what you wrote. In fact in none of my posts have I rejected your assessment. I simply asked whether or not what you stated was based upon information from an outside source.
In fact in my last post I concurred with your assessment that a portion of the revenue gains were attributed to higher average ticket price packages ("I found some analysis confirming that the revenue was in part due to increases in average ticket prices [meaning guests buying packages with a higher average price). But those same sources indicated that the revenue increase was also due to a 2% increase in park attendance -- meaning the revenue upswing was also the result of increased attendance (above both 2010 and 2009 numbers]."
Still, I could not find any analysis characterizing the performance as "flat."
I will say this, the fact that the Disney (or any theme park operator) has (for whatever reason) experienced gains in revenue associated with its park operations is somewhat remarkable in the current economy. Further, the fact that the parks continue to attract visitors in such substantial numbers certainly undermines the credibility of OT's contention that the folks at Disney could be described as "incompetent."
"Revenue is projected to eclipse the year-earlier total of $9.08 billion by 5.3%, finishing at $9.56 billion for the quarter. For the year, revenue is projected to roll in at $42.52 billion. In the most recent quarter, profit increased 12.4% year-over-year." (via Forbes)
It seems like Disney is becoming more profitable (at 12%) while revenue increases are minimal at 5.3%. Theme park admission prices have increase between 3% to 10%. There is no way of knowing how much prices have increased for food, beverages, and other things, but we definitely know they have increased.
There doesn't appear to be much growth when the growth has to overcome the price increases. You said it could be 2%. It is almost flat.
Compare 2% growth with the US GDP.
"The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United States expanded 2.2 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the previous quarter."
No one can say the US economy has improved. It is merely reflecting inflation.
I do give Disney credit for keeping up with the economy as opposed to a decline, which would be a real bummer.
I Respond: Which (again) would be consistent with my assertion that the people managing the Disney parks are undeserving of the performance assessment advanced by OT.
I Respond: The problem is not competence (an attribute that would be better identified by one's ability to spell). As was documented in Jason Garcia's article regarding the Yeti the problem is not technical know-how. It's the fact that removing and repairing the effect would require shutting the attraction down for many months.
I asked my wife what she thinks of people who constantly point out other peoples mistakes, seeing that she is a psycologist. Her exact words were "I think it helps perpetuate the illusion that the person who points them out doesn't make any".
I was very impressed, to say the least.
I wonder if Touche can detect how many fingers I'm holding up right now ?
The answer? NONE! How can a ride touch a Human and remember the Human's genetics? Disney would have lawsuits all over the place in this Nanny State that we live in.
Can you imagine a stuck up 'mom' from Louisiana who has a hand poke out of the wall in Haunted Mansion, and the animatronic says 'hello...Davina!'.
This cannot happen these days, as people are too 'touchy', if you excuse the pun.
In fact, Universal's clinetelle, would love this kind of technology, for Halloween Horror Nights, but not Disney and their Princess-loving toddlers.
I don't care if Disney can create some new 'trash collection reduction' device. I want to know how this technology can create the NEXT FORBIDDEN JOURNEY!!
Anyone got an answer, or are we all wasting our time?
Lame on so many levels. (1) I don't think they can repair it successfully. (2) The repair will fail again. (3) A true successful repair will cost thousands of dollars. (4) They might not really have a repair in mind.
Take you pick or any combination.
Don't you think you're being a bit dramatic? The description (discription) is very vague and I would say it's very premature to call this a technology that will change the face of the theme park industry.
To clarify, I wandered over to Wiki for this reference: "The Latin adverb sic ("thus"; in full: sic erat scriptum, "thus was it written") added immediately after a quoted word or phrase (or a longer piece of text), indicates that the quoted words have been transcribed exactly as spelled or presented in the original source ..."
My intent was less about pointing out a misspelling and more about ensuring that I was quoting someone accurately. Of course your interpretation of its usage could be construed as reasonable and certainly you are under no requirement to consider accepting my intent as explained. You are within your own license to think of me as … well in whatever light you prefer.
Again, please keep in mind, as you were not involved in the back-and-forth between me and OT I communicated in a certain manner. Since I am now aware that you are monitoring what I post on the site, I will be more careful. Please believe me when I say I would never intentionally post anything that it would anger you to the point that it would cause you to discuss the situation with your wife.
If you would like to have the last word on this matter, please be my guest. I appreciate every effort you have made to make me a better person. You're very thoughtful to offer this exceptional level of personal guidance.
To conclude, I wish nothing but the very best to both you and your wife.
Cheers, my friend!
I take offense. You obviously mean OT.
She had no idea why I was asking and I didn't go into any detail. I just wanted to know what her opinion on the subject was because she deals with human behavior. I think you are just assuming I gave this more than a few seconds of thought.
May 8, 2012 - LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co's quarterly earnings beat Wall Street expectations as profit rose 21 percent despite a loss from the science fiction film bomb "John Carter."
Strong attendance at theme parks and higher advertising revenue at cable networks, including sports powerhouse ESPN, helped drive quarterly growth.
Visitors kept filling Disney theme parks, and the Disneyland resort in California set a second-quarter attendance record, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said. Earnings at the theme park unit rose 53 percent to $222 million.
Considering this sort of performance, why on earth should Disney's business model be directed at "responding" to operations and developments at other theme parks.
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Huh? Maybe so, but the examples seem so easy to reverse engineer. As much as I would love to say this is an advance, it is merely the next step to touch screens, and face and gesture recognition. These applications are yet to be implemented, but they could be in the next generation of devices, which in today's technology timeframe means 3 to 5 years. If Disney wants be ahead of the competition, it needs to do something rather quickly or watch the advantage disappear. Seeing that Disney never had an answer to Universal's Spiderman, I wonder when they will bother.
Some immediate benefits is hotels and EPCOT's many exhibits. I don't see where they will go with theme park rides. It isn't so much that some attractions could benefit from interaction. The problem is Disney fails to create remarkable visual effects that could take advantage of guest inputs.