Widgets Magazine

Lost in Technology

While studying broadcasting and media in college, I once took a course on pop culture. Other than the classes I took regarding audio there was one concept that has applied more to my daily life than just about anything else I learned in the process of acquiring my degree. For those unfamiliar with the idea of liminal space, it is the idea that you become so engrossed in the media that you,Aeore watching or listening to that the rest of the world around you, the people, the place, the everyday life things that keep your mind racing, all just washes away and all that,Aeos engaging you is what matters. You almost begin to exist in two places ,Aei the physical space and the media itself.
A common example of this is attempting to ask someone playing video games or watching a movie a question only to get the response, ,AeuI,Aeom sorry, what did you say?,Aeu Most commonly experienced at a movie theater, which is entirely designed to isolate you from the outside world to enhance this liminal experience, we also fall into it very regularly at home. The newest symptom of getting sucked into this world outside of our own is the idea of binge watching. But what about outside of the screen based experience? Is there any other way to get lost in this space?
Getting lost in the liminal space doesn,Aeot always require both visual and audio elements to them, but it can certainly help to create that fully immersive experience that places a person within the content. This can be done with storytelling that grasps the participant, audio that envelops them in the space, as well as the use of music to help draw on their emotional response, and a visual that makes them feel as if they are truly there.
During a recent trip to Disneyland, I found that there is some new brilliance in the world with removing you from the life outside those entrance gates. Disneyland, and the Disney theme parks overall, are certainly famous for being able to separate the visitors from the real world that exists on the other side of the ticket windows, but their use of projection mapping in their attractions and shows has created an entirely new level of engrossing engagement.
The Disney imagineers have taken the concept of the dark rides (rides that take place indoors and the visual elements are all specifically lit in darkened rooms) and reinvented just how the riders experience it by applying projection mapping. Video of faces projected onto busts to show that the static physical body is talking, singing, and looking around was just the beginning when introduced a few years back. Now we,Aeore seeing entire rooms of screen type surfaces where the projection is creating the image of fixed position animatronic characters moving or falling through space.
IMG_2417The coup de grace of their immersive experience, though, is the new fireworks show. While Disney had been using projection mapping on the castles, they have taken it to another level by projection mapping the entire length of the second story of Main Street during the nightly fireworks spectacular. Seamless video streams on the buildings paint the length of the street in images from such Disney movies as The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Tangled, Frozen, as well as original content to sequence with the original music during the multi-colored explosions that illuminate the night skies over the happiest place on earth.
In other fireworks experiences you will have the explosions in sequence with the music to give you the audio and visual experience. This new show, however, leaves the visitors with so much to take in that it,Aeos like getting lost in the worlds that Disney has created in their movies. Standing in the middle of the street, facing Sleeping Beauty,Aeos castle, both sides of you are exploding with the colors of the jungle as King Louie sings about being ,AeuJust Like You,,Aeu or while the animals of the African savannah walk by on either side, even stepping up and down to maintain a continuous path in line with the awnings of the shops.
Looking straight ahead won,Aeot remove you from the experience either as the castle itself has unique and customized videos being projected onto it as the central point and screen of the whole experience. Waterfalls stream down from between the parapets, lanterns fly off into the distance, and the sun rises to welcome you to a new day in sequence with the music playing and making any noise from the real world completely and totally inaudible.
Often times the participant will have to work to put themselves in the liminal space. They will need to find content that draws them in and create a comfortable and safe environment that allows them to fully lose themselves in the media. But in these new Disneyland experiences they build the world around the participant, sometimes without you even knowing that it happened.
The use of the audio visual technology that,Aeos available today, as it continues to improve, is what allows the creation of these kinds of experiences that help to remove people from their daily lives. Projectors and speakers that can easily be hidden but still cover entire stories of buildings with visuals or a massive square footage area with even sound coverage are two of the key elements in creating an experience for such a large group of people. But beyond that, the imagination for how to use the technology in these new and large scale ways, followed by partnering with visual artists, musicians, and sound designers to bring the experience to life.
It seems like liminal space is more and more available at the fingertips of the world,Aeos population as we have a screen and noise canceling headphones on our person nearly every moment we,Aeore out and about in the world; not to mention the home theaters that we all have when we cross that welcome mat at the end of the day. This means that the immersive experiences that really draw out the wonder and magic of it all become more and more difficult to create. It,Aeos good to know that the Walt Disney Company is still hiring brilliant individuals, and partnering with others, that keep their eyes on the grander scale to immerse their visitors in ,AeuA Whole New World.,Aeu
You can view-*the complete fireworks and-*digital projection show below.

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