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.
- 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.