WDC explores the future of immersive experiences
Today, The Walt Disney Company hosted its 2022 Disney Accelerator Demo Day, showcasing the six companies in this year's Disney Accelerator program that are focused on helping build the future of immersive experiences. The Demo Day presentation featured more than 15 senior executives from The Walt Disney Company in conversation with the founders of the six growth stage companies, as they discussed innovation and new technologies, and the impact they might have across Disney.
Demo Day is a celebration of the annual Disney Accelerator, a business development program designed to accelerate the growth of innovative companies from around the world. Since launching the Accelerator in 2014, Disney continues to collaborate with many of the Disney Accelerator participant companies to bring exciting products and new technologies to market. The companies in this year's program focus on a range of technologies in areas such as augmented reality (AR), non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and artificial intelligence (AI) virtual characters.
Disney has always used new technology to enable world-class storytelling and to help redefine and advance entertainment. As the company focuses on its next-generation storytelling efforts, Disney will continue to explore how these types of new canvasses and techniques can help create connected experiences across physical, digital and virtual worlds.
"For nearly one hundred years, Disney has embraced cutting edge technology to remain at the forefront of creative storytelling and deliver the most innovative entertainment experiences for audiences and guests around the world," said Bonnie Rosen, General Manager of the Disney Accelerator program. "This commitment to advancement is also an integral part of the Disney Accelerator, which allows us to collaborate with outstanding growth stage companies like those in this year's class that share our desire to redefine the media landscape. We hope that Demo Day is just the beginning of our relationship with these companies, and we can't wait to see the amazing things we could build together for Disney fans."
The 2022 Disney Accelerator companies include:
Flickplay: Flickplay is a Web3 social app that enables users to discover digital collectibles tied to real-world locations that they can experience and share via AR. Flickplay is in conversations with Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing (CPGP) to create and deliver digital collectible activations within physical locations across the Unites States.
Inworld AI: Inworld allows users to create interactive, AI-driven characters for immersive experiences. Today, Inworld announced that it is in conversations with ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm's immersive storytelling studio, to build developer tools for creating characters at scale in immersive worlds. Additionally, Inworld is exploring the development of an AI personality for Disney Star's DisneyStarverse platform. At today's Demo Day, Inworld demonstrated a 'Droid Maker' prototype that the company created in collaboration with ILMxLAB.
Lockerverse: Lockerverse is a community platform that empowers creators and brands to tell culture-defining stories and deliver unique access and experiences. Lockerverse is working with ESPN to launch a free NFT of the Celebration Bowl Trophy, to be exclusively first offered at the Celebration Bowl on December 17 in Atlanta.
Obsess: Obsess is an experiential e-commerce platform that enables brands to create immersive 3D virtual stores on their websites and on Web3 platforms. In early October, Obsess launched the Disney Music Emporium virtual experience, an immersive online store celebrating the wonder of Disney music. Obsess is also in conversations with Disneyland Resort and shopDisney to create a special retail experience.
Polygon: Polygon is a business layer for blockchain technology that allows developers and enterprises to build Web3 experiences. Polygon is working with Disney on developing a proof of concept for exclusive digital collectibles to recognize Disney employees during special occasions.
Red 6: Red 6 is an AR company that has created a patented headset and interface that works outdoors in dynamic, high-performance environments. Walt Disney Imagineering and Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) are exploring opportunities to bring this technology into our story-driven environments for next generation experiences of the future.
Following today's presentations, the Disney Accelerator brought Web3 to life on the Walt Disney Studios lot for attendees by showcasing exclusive demonstrations from the 2021 and 2022 Disney Accelerator companies, including life-sized versions of Disney's most popular NFTs and a special Flickplay scavenger hunt that allowed attendees to find and interact with Disney digital collectibles.
For the first time, the previous year's Disney Accelerator companies attended Demo Day and showcased their technologies and recent collaborations with The Walt Disney Company for guests. Those companies included:
Attentive: Attentive is a comprehensive mobile messaging platform that allows retail and e-commerce brands to connect directly with consumers through personalized communication experiences. This summer, Attentive launched an opt-in experience to provide Disney guests a seamless opportunity to communicate with Disney Theatrical Productions via SMS and email through www.aladdinthemusical.com.
CAMP: CAMP creates experiential retail stores and online media destinations for the whole family. CAMP launched two collaborations with Disney this year, "Disney's Mickey and Friends x CAMP: An Extra Big Adventure", now in Dallas, while New York City families are enjoying the magical "Disney Encanto x CAMP" at its flagship store this holiday season. These immersive and interactive collaborations travel to other CAMP locations every few months.
Miko: Miko creates adorable robots that are playful learning companions for children across 140+ countries and utilized by parents, educators and technologists. Earlier this year, Miko collaborated with Disney Publishing to launch animated storybooks featuring characters from the worlds of Disney and Pixar on its Miko 3 robot.