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Old 08-22-2014, 03:47 PM   #1
rootbeer
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Check this out...Disney to use drones

Could be interesting for sure. The article even says they could possibly replace fireworks with pixels that will hang from the sky.

http://blogs.marketwatch.com/themarg...entertainment/
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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The article doesn't actually say that Disney will use drones, only that they have applied for drone-related patents. They go on to say that the inventors fully realize that the capability to do what they want doesn't exist yet.

This is not to say that they couldn't invent and subsequently deploy drones for entertainment purposes, but there will have to be a lot of study and testing before it happens. All it will take is one drone to crash and cause an injury to end that effort for good.

I could see perhaps some after hours show where after the park closes (i.e. no guests around to get hurt) drones are used as indicated in the patent to give resort guests around the Magic Kingdom or Epcot something extra to pass the late evening time.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:09 PM   #3
Magic Fanatic
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"The patent indicates that drones could even potentially replace fireworks, which can be dangerous and inconsistent."

Really? I have never known Wishes to be dangerous.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:17 AM   #4
WDWChloe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Fanatic View Post
"The patent indicates that drones could even potentially replace fireworks, which can be dangerous and inconsistent." Really? I have never known Wishes to be dangerous.
Try watching Wishes from New Fantasyland - specifically Gaston's Tavern. I've seen the fire alarm go off twice before o.o

Not to say it will stop me from watching them at this location... Heh.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:49 PM   #5
Josh Hendy
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I'm not saying anything for or against this technology, but very large companies spend a huge amount of money getting hundreds of patents every year. Not so much because they want to build all this stuff, but because they want a huge portfolio of patents so that if "they" get sued for patent infringement, they can find something they patented that the "other guy" has violated. Sort of a Mutually Assured Destruction approach to intellectual property litigation. What counts is not really the quality of the patent portfolio, but the sheer size and the gargantuan breadth of the coverage of patents.

It's a silly thing to have to do, since most of the patents are frankly dumb, obvious, unoriginal, farfetched or impractical. But large corporations are forced to adopt this strategy since courts will happily punish companies with billions of dollars of damages. You've heard of getting "all lawyered up"? Well corporations also have to be "all patented up".

So you can budget for quite a large number of dubious patents being awarded in any given year. Because of the length of time involved, usually the patents are going to be concerned with the technology that was considered to be absolutely, blazing hot about 2-3 years before the patent is actually issued ... hence, drones in theme parks!
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Fanatic View Post
"The patent indicates that drones could even potentially replace fireworks, which can be dangerous and inconsistent."

Really? I have never known Wishes to be dangerous.
Honestly drones could be dangerous and inconsistent also.

I like the *idea* of drones (although I wish they had a different name in these kinds of applications), but I'm not sold on the feasibility yet.
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Old 08-23-2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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I like the *idea* of drones (although I wish they had a different name in these kinds of applications), but I'm not sold on the feasibility yet.
You can refer to them as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

You don't have to be sold on the feasibility; companies, both large and small, in a wide range of industries (film and entertainment industry, agriculture, energy construction/infrastructure, logistics, security, real estate, etc.) across the world already are. They are using and are working on further developing the use of UAVs in a variety of contexts. The legal and regulatory framework has been frustratingly slow to develop, but as soon as it comes, there will be a substantial increase in commercial UAV use.
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Hendy View Post
I'm not saying anything for or against this technology, but very large companies spend a huge amount of money getting hundreds of patents every year. Not so much because they want to build all this stuff, but because they want a huge portfolio of patents so that if "they" get sued for patent infringement, they can find something they patented that the "other guy" has violated. Sort of a Mutually Assured Destruction approach to intellectual property litigation. What counts is not really the quality of the patent portfolio, but the sheer size and the gargantuan breadth of the coverage of patents.

It's a silly thing to have to do, since most of the patents are frankly dumb, obvious, unoriginal, farfetched or impractical. But large corporations are forced to adopt this strategy since courts will happily punish companies with billions of dollars of damages. You've heard of getting "all lawyered up"? Well corporations also have to be "all patented up".

So you can budget for quite a large number of dubious patents being awarded in any given year. Because of the length of time involved, usually the patents are going to be concerned with the technology that was considered to be absolutely, blazing hot about 2-3 years before the patent is actually issued ... hence, drones in theme parks!
It's not correct to say courts are "punishing" companies with billions of dollars of damages. There have only been 5 or 6 patent infringement damage awards that have hit the $1 billion figure, and there are none more than $2 billion. Most if not all were awarded by juries, not judges, and most were later reduced or vacated by judges. In fact, half of the top 25 patent damages awards ever were subsequently reduced or vacated. That's in large part because damage awards must be tied to the value of the use of the patent - damages are not punitive, they are compensatory for the use of the invention (although punitive damages can be levied for egregious infringement or conduct).

Also, while it's true companies spend money on patenting the fruits of their R&D, including technology that they may never actually use, and applying for patents is in part for offensive and defensive patent litigation purposes, patenting their technology is not the primary goal nor really that substantial of an additional expense.

Disney and other companies aren't investing millions of dollars in R&D to create new patents as it sounds like you're suggesting - they're investing that money into developing new technology for use in their business. Patents are secondary and used primarily to protect those investments. And for large companies with big R&D operations, the additional cost of patenting technology after all the R&D investment is really not all that significant, so it makes sense to go ahead and do it (1) if it is something you want to use for a competitive advantage, you can exclude others, and (2) for the defensive purposes you described.

Also, note that by saying "most of the patents are frankly dumb, obvious, unoriginal, farfetched or impractical," you are saying the USPTO improperly issued most patents. Certainly, there are many patents that should not have been issued, but under U.S. law, an invention may not be patented if it is obvious, unoriginal, farfetched, or impractical, if by impractical you mean it it doesn't work as intended or is not useful (if you mean impractical for business/economic reasons, that's not required by law).
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #9
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Try watching Wishes from New Fantasyland - specifically Gaston's Tavern. I've seen the fire alarm go off twice before o.o

Not to say it will stop me from watching them at this location... Heh.
dd worked in the mk for eight months and it happened three times in the eight months she was there. landed on the roof of bog, started the woods on fire between the train tracks and the entrance to the tunnels and there was one night dd text me and said they couldn't leave the tunnel because the garbage outside of the entrance caught on fire.
I guess your chance are greater getting trampled by a stroller then getting hurt by some fireworks but what ever goes up must come down somewhere.
I picked up dd from work one day and she pointed out where they set the fireworks off and it really isn't that far away from the back of the park.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Fanatic View Post
"The patent indicates that drones could even potentially replace fireworks, which can be dangerous and inconsistent."

Really? I have never known Wishes to be dangerous.
Every building in Fantasyland and Liberty Square has a sprinkler system on the roof that comes on shortly before Wishes begins to wet the roofs down. There are also sprinklers in the wooded areas around the park. Even so, there are still fires from falling embers that they need to deal with. They've learned to deal with these efficiently.

The fireworks also disrupt other aspects of park operations. Disney stops running the trains before Wishes starts, because they run a little too close to the fireworks. They also rope off the area around Sir Mickeys and the back side of the castle. At Hollywood Studios, they close Toy Story Midway Mania, arguably the most popular ride at WDW, when they do the Frozen or Star Wars fireworks.

I would agree that there is little risk or danger to park guests from fireworks, but that's not because shooting fire and explosives into the sky isn't dangerous. It's because Disney goes to great lengths to mitigate the danger. It doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility that they'd be exploring something that mitigates the dangers even further; especially if it also allows them to stop disrupting other park operations.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:50 AM   #11
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My husband is an engineer who has applied for patents. Large companies will apply for patents for tech they have no plans for developing to prevent other companies from developing it.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:58 PM   #12
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I could see Disney trying to develop an alternative for their firework displays for several reasons. I don't quite get the pixel thing though.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:52 PM   #13
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This is not exactly new. Maybe they will bring it to a scale that hasn't been done before, but the basic idea has been done for years already.

See http://www.aec.at/spaxels/ for something similar that has been around for a couple years.

Search YouTube for quad copter formation flying for more neat videos.

That said, I hope they don't replace the fireworks with this.
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Old 08-25-2014, 04:26 PM   #14
dvczerfs
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This is not exactly new. Maybe they will bring it to a scale that hasn't been done before, but the basic idea has been done for years already. See http://www.aec.at/spaxels/ for something similar that has been around for a couple years. Search YouTube for quad copter formation flying for more neat videos. That said, I hope they don't replace the fireworks with this.
Agreed. Took time to get use to the popping noise when they started using compressed air to launch them. But like everything else, time marches on and this old man sit back in his rocking chair and just watches. Lol
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Old 08-28-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
Viledas
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I'm really wondering how this will work I can't wait to see it in action!
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