Disney Stays on Top of Tech Trends

The creative minds at Walt Disney Imagineering always seem to be one step ahead of the rest of the world. Take, for instance, their new Living Character Initiative, which is being tested on the streets of Disney's California Adventure theme park this weekend. Their high-tech creations are free-roaming, interactive, audio-animatronic Muppets. Picture this: They can "see" and "talk" to tourists without any puppeteers in sight. Imagineers coyly attribute the roaming Muppet characters as "Disney magic" and "pixie dust," but in reality, a live puppeteer is watching and listening and making the magic happen from afar.

Disney says the goal of its Living Character Initiative is to improve the interaction between their characters and the generation of YouTube watchers and Nintendo Wii-players. Ultimately, Disney wants for one person to operate the characters from their Imagineering headquarters in Glendale.


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