Disney isn't just about fairytale castles and princesses. It’s also got a pretty serious technical research facility, and they've invented something that promises to bring 3D printing into the realms of sci-fi.
The new tech is called "printed optics" and enables sensing, display, and illumination elements to be directly embedded in the body of an interactive device (if you're inspired, see how you can make 3D prints using your own photos for free with Memento.
- A toy with an embedded heart shape that glows when illuminated in a heartbeat-like rhythm.
- chess pieces that display information about where they are on the board using light
- plastic blocks that appear to show explosions inside when light is shone at them
Check out the video demonstrating the new technology:
Full technical details of how printed optics work can be found in this research paper.