Disney Builds Wall-Sized UI

Two Walt Disney Co. senior executives have designed a wall-sized user interface that could allow viewers within a range of 20 feet  to interact with multiple displays of video content, according ot a patent applicaiton obtained by The Donohue Report on Thursday.

Alexander Chen
Disney General Counsel Alexander Chen

Disney Principal Counsel Alexander Chen and VP of Distribution Technology Mark Arana are named as inventors on the patent application, titled, “Multi-User Interactive Media Wall.”

The invention is an example of one of the ways that Disney, which announced earlier this week that it would acquire a 33 percent stake in BAMTech, could innovate with direct-to-consumer video services.

Mark Arana
Mark Arana, Disney VP of distribution tech

Disney details how the interactive media wall could use “positional sensors,” facial recognition, biometric and motion sensors to target entertainment content, sports programming and games to viewers.
“Sensor may be a biometric sensor (e.g., retina scan, fingerprint recognition, face recognition, etc.), as alluded to above, and/or may be a positional sensor (e.g., object sensor, motion sensor),” Disney states in the patent application. “Sensor may determine an identity of a user, such that a user may place his/her hand on media wall, so that media wall can identify the user. Upon identifying the user, media wall may access a user profile associated with the identified user to initiate presentation of one or more media content associated with the user.”

Disney originally filed the patent application, which was published on Thursday, in June 2015.

Abstract: An interactive media wall is provided on which multiple media contents can be simultaneously displayed. Multiple users can interact with the interactive media wall such that visual portions of the multiple media contents can be presented on the interactive media wall, while audio portions of the media contents may be presented to each of the multiple users via peripheral listening devices. Users consuming the same media content can communicate via a chat session(s).

Patent Application

Claims:

1. A computer-implemented method for displaying multiple media contents on an interactive media wall, comprising: determining whether a first user is proximate to the interactive media wall and desires to interact with the interactive media wall; upon a determination that the first user desires to interact with the interactive media wall, displaying a visual portion of a first media content on the interactive media wall; determining whether a second user is proximate to the interactive media wall and desires to interact with the interactive media wall; and upon a determination that the second user desires to interact with the interactive media wall, displaying a visual portion of a second media content on the interactive media wall simultaneously with the visual portion of the first media content.

2. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, wherein determining whether the first user is proximate to the interactive media wall comprises determining the presence of the first user via a sensor co-located with the interactive media wall.

3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising providing at least one of an audio portion of the first media content to a first device associated with the first user and an audio portion of the second media content to a second device associated with the second user.

4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising displaying the visual portions of the first and second media content in first and second portals, respectively.

5. The computer-implemented method of claim 4, further comprising determining at least one of size and positioning of the first and second portals relative to each other based on a first number of additional users viewing the visual portion of the first media content relative to a second number of additional users viewing the visual portion of the second media content.

6. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising providing a first chat session associated with the first media content for the first user and additional users viewing the visual portion of the first media content to communicate.

7. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising displaying visual indicia on the interactive media wall associated with at least the first user and the second user.

8. The computer-implemented method of claim 4, further comprising determining at least one of size and positioning of the first portal based upon metadata from the first media content.

9. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising accessing a first profile associated with the first user to identify the first media content for displaying the visual portion of the first media content.

10. The computer-implemented method of claim 9, wherein the first profile identifies one or more presentation preferences associated with the displaying of the visual portion of the first media content.

11. The computer-implemented method of claim 10, wherein the one or more presentation preferences comprise an indication of a version of the first media content.

12. The computer-implemented method of claim 1, further comprising displaying the visual portion of at least one of the first and second media content in accordance with an ad-supported version of the at least one of the first and second media content.

13. The computer-implemented method of claim 12, wherein the displaying of the visual portion of at least one of the first and second media content in accordance with the ad-supported version occurs pursuant to a transition from displaying at least one of the first and second media content on one of a first user device associated with the first user or a second user device associated with the second user, respectively, to the displaying of the visual portion of at least one of the first and second media content on the interactive media wall.

14. The computer-implemented method of claim 10, wherein the one or more presentation preferences comprise an indication of a thematic aspect of the first media content.

15. The computer-implemented method of claim 14, further comprising displaying the visual portion of the first media content with one or more reinforcing elements commensurate with the thematic aspect.

16. An interactive media wall, comprising: at least one display area configured to simultaneously display visual portions of multiple media contents associated with multiple users; multiple portals within which the multiple media contents are simultaneously displayed; and identification areas proximate to the multiple portals through which the multiple users are identified as viewing their respective visual portions of the multiple media contents.

17. The interactive media wall of claim 16, further comprising a first chat area through which a first subset of the multiple viewers viewing the same visual portion of one of the multiple media contents communicate.

18. The interactive media wall of claim 16, wherein the visual portions of the multiple media contents are displayed commensurately with audio portions of the multiple media contents via at least one of a speaker operatively connected to the interactive media wall and one or more peripheral listening devices associated with the multiple users.

19. The interactive media wall of claim 16, further comprising at least one sensor through which positioning of each of the multiple users is determined relative to the interactive media wall and the displayed visual portions of the multiple media contents being consumed by each of the multiple users.

20. The interactive media wall of claim 16, further comprising at least one communications module for communicating with at least one media server through which control of the simultaneous display of the visual portions of the multiple media contents is achieved.