In the not-so-distant future, we'll be able to have our cake and eat it too. Disney recently outlined patent plans for augmented-reality cakes and other food products. This means the ability to watch interactive videos projected onto the icing just before guests dig in. Though Disney's plans are still on the drawing board, two methods are outlined for bringing this tech to life.
The first involves a small projector incorporated into a cake topper equipped to store and display digital images across the cake's surface. Imagine a montage of photos or video clips from the birthday boy or girl's favorite Disney movie and you get the picture. Developers also suggest adding motion-tracking sensors so users could interact with the images. For example, users could wave a wand over the cake to make images of flowers bloom.
However, for an even more mind-blowing experience that may make you think twice about eating the cake, Disney plans to role out the big guns: a computer connected to an overhead projector with depth sensors and motion trackers.
The added equipment may make the birthday cake look more like a science experiment, but the added sensors allow for added interactive elements on cakes that don't have flat surfaces. Entire digital worlds could then be mapped over the cake's rugged surface where waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and flowing volcanoes could be brought to life. Anyone could manipulate the landscape by using certain props to trigger stimuli. For example, a tree placed onto a field could cause a digital forest to grow.
Disney envisions the augmented reality tech turning the surface of cakes into digital coloring books or story books where narratives are advanced by remote-controlled figurines. The patent mostly describes concepts using cakes, but explains that the tech could be applied to almost any other food.
Augmented reality shepherd's pie, anyone?