Disney’s Physical Playground: The 360 Treadmill Revolution

Disney’s Imagineers have developed an innovative piece of metaverse hardware known as the Holotile, which is a 360-degree treadmill that can be controlled through remote control, physical movement, or gestures. MKBHD, a popular YouTuber and the 2022 Ultimate champion, became the first non-Disney employee to test the prototype device. The Holotile appears as a thick plastic mat with numerous spinning pieces arranged in a seemingly random geometric pattern. By utilizing tilted, spinning discs, it creates a floor that can move in all directions.

During the demonstration by MKBHD, he showcased how the Holotile can be used to move objects through hand gestures, resembling the abilities of Jedi Knights in the Star Wars franchise to manipulate objects using “the Force.” The device senses any object crossing a specified line and synchronizes the movement of the floor with the motion of the hand. This gesture control was followed by an experiment where MKBHD was seated in a chair and given a PlayStation controller to navigate himself around the device. He was able to use the device with his own legs after a brief training period, walking around a virtual 3D environment created by Disney’s metaverse.

Although the Holotile is currently a prototype, it demonstrates the potential for future applications. While existing 360-degree treadmills exist, none possess the unrestricted movement capabilities of the Holotile. Beyond recreating scenes from “Ready Player One,” where gamers navigate virtual environments using futuristic treadmills, the Holotile has numerous possibilities. Disney envisions using it as a means to explore their theme parks in the metaverse, as demonstrated during MKBHD’s trial in a digital version of the Magic Kingdom.

Aside from theme parks and video games, the Holotile could have practical uses such as moving objects in dynamic environments, training first responders, law enforcement personnel, and military operators, and facilitating various educational experiences. It could potentially enhance the experience of collecting non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by merging the interactive and physically demanding aspects of “Pokemon Go” with the concept of “Bored Apes” in a traversable environment. The Holotile, although in its early stages, offers a glimpse into the future possibilities of metaverse hardware.

Erminie Beller

Erminie Beller

4 thoughts on “Disney’s Physical Playground: The 360 Treadmill Revolution

  1. MKBHD’s demonstration of the Holotile’s gestural control was mind-blowing. It’s like stepping into a sci-fi movie! 🤯🚀

  2. The Holotile brings the concept of “Bored Apes” and NFTs to a whole new level. Collecting virtual assets will feel more tangible and exciting! 🦧💎

  3. The potential applications of the Holotile are mind-boggling! From training first responders to enhancing educational experiences, it’s a game-changer.

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