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Entries in carousel of progress (3)

Friday
Apr062007

Virtual Reality (1980s-today)

10 Zen Monkeys has a great article about the paleo-futuristic promise of Virtual Reality. As the article points out, we may have things like Second Life, which is mentally gripping but is far less physically immersive than what was projected.

I remember looking at Nintendo's Virtual Boy in the mid-90s and thinking, "Finally! It's just a matter of time before virtual reality takes over the gaming market."

Jaron Lanier, the developer that was interviewed for the 10 Zen Monkeys article has a Top Eleven Reasons VR Has Not Yet Become Commonplace. It's worth a look. I find number 7 the most intriguing in a lot of ways.

"Because human acuity is so good that you can't get away with so-so specs as you can when the interface is less intimate, as with existing mass produced devices." I can't decide if the Wii proves number 7 or shows that technologies that are becoming more immersive are more attractive for their playability than their graphics.

The image above is from the Walt Disney World attraction Carousel of Progress which was updated in the late 1990s to include a futuristic family playing a virtual reality game.

Monday
Mar262007

Walt Disney Explaining the Carousel of Progress to General Electric (1964)

Disney produced attractions for many companies during the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair. One of these attractions was the Carousel of Progress for the General Electric Pavilion showing, "how life has changed through electrical energy." Below is a clip from a short promotional film Disney produced.

The film was not intended for the public but rather General Electric, who had not yet heard the featured song of the attraction, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow."

 

 


Also, unconfirmed rumors are circulating that Carousel of Progress will be entering the Smithsonian in 2009 along with the Enchanted Tiki Room but you didn't hear it from me.

 

See also:
Monsanto House of the Future (1957-1967) 19 March 2007

Thursday
Feb082007

Astuter Computer Revue


I don't remember much about Communicore at EPCOT in Walt Disney World. It closed in 1993 and was converted into the half-rate Innoventions Pavillion. However, I did find a little gem of a song that was featured in the Communicore exhibit for just a few short years. The song is called The Computer Song and was composed by the Sherman Brothers, best known for their work on the Mary Poppins and Parent Trap films as well as classic Disney rides like the Enchanted Tiki Room, Carousel of Progress and Journey Into Imagination. The song played at the Astuter Computer Revue attraction.

The song praises the computer for "making life easier" as well as "saving time and headaches." When was the last time you thought of your personal computer that way? The computer noises are priceless. Ah, the beautiful paleo-future. Don't forget to click on "Astuter Computer Revue" to listen to the song in its entirety.