Scroll Top

New Walt Disney Holotiles let crowds walk around in VR while at home


VR still suffers from the fact that you can’t truly walk or run around in virtual worlds, but that will change in time …


Love the Exponential Future? Join our XPotential Community, future proof yourself with courses from XPotential University, read about exponential tech and trendsconnect, watch a keynote, or browse my blog.

Years ago I wrote about, and showed off, some of the first moving floor concepts and boots that would let people walk and run around in Virtual Reality (VR) environments while staying stationary in their lounges at home, in something that’s akin to running on the spot but in this case not because you’d actually be running in VR – which sounds confusing. Anyway, fast forward about four years and now Walt Disney Imagineering has unveiled the ‘HoloTile’ floor for “omnidirectional VR experiences,” created by Disney Research fellow Lanny Smoot.


New breathable insulin becomes a popular choice for diabetics in the US


The new technology was revealed as Smoot, a member of Walt Disney Imagineering’s research and development (R&D) division, is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.


The Future of Sports 2030, by Keynote Matthew Griffin


Smoot is the first Disney Imagineer to receive this recognition and only the second person from the Walt Disney Company to be inducted. The first was Walt Disney, who was honoured posthumously in 2000 for the multiplane camera.

In a press release, Disney said the HoloTile floor is “the world’s first multi-person, omnidirectional, modular, expandable, treadmill floor.” And I want one … it looks like it beats a bog standard treadmill any day!


IBM announced their most powerful quantum computer yet


It allows any number of people to enjoy a shared VR experience, walk an unlimited distance in any direction, and never collide or walk off its surface. Additionally, the HoloTile floor can be an insert in a theatrical stage. This would allow performers to move and dance in new ways, or stage props and structures to move around or seemingly set themselves up.


Watch the new Holotiles in action


In a new Disney Parks video, Smoot explains: “It will automatically do whatever it needs to have me stay on the floor. What’s amazing about this is multiple people can be on it and all walking independently. They can walk in virtual reality and so many other things.”

He adds, “There’s so many applications for this type of technology.”


Barbados opens the world's first recognised sovereign embassy in the metaverse


Smoot is credited with giving Madame Leota her ability to float in Disneyland‘s Haunted Mansion attraction and creating the extendable light saber used by Disney Live Entertainment.

“At Disney Experiences, we’re committed to world-class storytelling, creativity, and innovation in everything we do, and Lanny Smoot embodies every one of those ideals,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Experiences.

“As Disney’s most prolific inventor, Lanny continues to amaze all of us with his artistic ingenuity, technical expertise, and endless imagination.”

Related Posts

Leave a comment


1000's of articles about the exponential future, 1000's of pages of insights, 1000's of videos, and 100's of exponential technologies: Get The Email from 311, your no-nonsense briefing on all the biggest stories in exponential technology and science.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This