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Universal Files Patent for Augmented Reality Glasses to be Used in Mario Kart Ride

The pieces of Universal Parks’ Nintendo World puzzle are coming together! Today it has come to light that Universal has filed for a patent for a special type of glasses to be used on an attraction. Granted, the patent did not say specifically that this was for Mario Kart… but I think once you see how the technology works it will be pretty clear that this is what the glasses are designed for. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Glasses will be worn by riders that will not block their field of vision, but rather enhance what they see in real time. Now for those of you out there who are tired of Universal Parks constantly using projection screens for all their new rides, this is somewhat of a compromise. Notice numbers 40 and 42 in the above image. That is where cameras will be placed on the glasses that can render a person’s point of view in real time. The actual lenses of the glasses (numbers 37 and 38) will represent opaque LCD screens that can project images in real time. Now let’s put some things together.

Remember this image that supposedly leaked from Universal Creative last week? I believe this is a good idea of what the final product could look like, even though the above image is a bit rough.  The cars (including the one you’re sitting in) are all real. However, Mario and other characters are projected into the goggles. Now keep in mind, those boxes hovering in the air? They can be real boxes, with question marks projected via your goggles.  When you bump them and reveal what’s inside? The projection changes to show that they’ve been taken. Just like a real game of Mario Kart!

According to the patent, riders will be able to see set pieces that are overlaid with virtual images, but each other as well. In other words, imagine being able to ride an attraction where you won’t necessarily be able to tell what is real, what is projected and what is augmented…. unless you take the glasses off.

Another thing to consider? This Mario Kart attraction will mean nothing in the digital age of everyone filming on Youtube, Facebook Live and Snapchat.  Unless you are actually wearing these glasses that are rendering images specifically for you and your field of vision? It won’t matter what it looks like without them. For once, you will not be able to get a true feel of what this ride is like until you actually visit it yourself in Japan, Orlando or Hollywood.  We are going to be covering this a lot more in the upcoming weeks as my inbox has been flooded with behind-the-scenes info on the entire land and how it comes together that I’ll be sharing shortly.

What are your thoughts? Is this Universal making another ride that uses too many projections? Or will this be a fair compromise because these aren’t actual screens and the images are popping up in your glasses? Let me know and I look forward to sharing more about Super Nintendo World and Mario Kart in the future!

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