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disney’s holotile floor moves any person or object like telekinesis for immersive VR gaming

Holotile floor by walt disney imagineering


Walt Disney Imagineering unveils the HoloTile Floor, the dubbed world’s first multi-person, omnidirectional treadmill ground that can move around any person or object like telekinesis for an immersive virtual and augmented reality experience. The hexagonal floor comprises a button-sized surface that switches planes or sides to make itself run like a treadmill. The moving HoloTile Floor is developed by Lanny Smoot, a Disney Research Fellow and longtime member of Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development who is also being inducted into Walt Disney’s National Inventors Hall of Fame for his myriad works for the company spanning three decades, including the treadmill floor.

disney holotile floor treadmill
video stills by Disney Parks, via Youtube



world’s first multi-person, omnidirectional treadmill floor


Walt Disney Imagineering’s HoloTile Floor is mainly thought of for virtual and augmented reality gaming and experiences. As the user plays the game or toys around the spaces, the treadmill floor moves them around, making them feel as if they were truly walking, running, and moving around the game. They can walk an unlimited distance in any direction they wish without colliding or walking off the surface of the moving floor since it is never static and keeps on moving. Aside from VR and AR uses, Disney’s HoloTile Floor can also be planted in theatrical stages and enable the performance to dance or move in creative ways, and more so, let the stage props and structures move on their own or appear on stage suddenly given its treadmill capabilities.

disney holotile floor treadmill
Lanny Smoot developed Disney’s HoloTile Floor



Multiple players can stand on the holotile floor


As seen in the video, Lanny Smoot shows his viewers how Disney’s HoloTile Floor works. He sits down on a chair and just like magic, the treadmill floor keeps tilting its surface until Lanny Smoot glides around his invention as if he were riding Aladdin’s magic carpet. For an added superpower effect, a staff member raises their hands, controlling Lanny Smoot’s movement and portraying their role as someone with telekinetic powers. Disney’s National Inventor also showcases how his HoloTile Floor can be used in VR and AR games by letting two players stand side by side and play their adventures on their screens while still moving and walking on the same treadmill floor.

disney holotile floor treadmill
multiple players can stand on the treadmill floor at once



While the invention invites creative uses in several industries, Disney’s HoloTile Floor may still be a project to be developed without a specific release date or whether it would be commercialized for VR and AR gamers. ‘Imagine a number of people being in a room, being able to be somewhere else collaboratively and moving around, seeing, doing sightseeing. Imagine theatrical stages that might have these embedded in them so that dancers can do amazing moves. Not me, but really good dancers. So there are just so many applications for this type of technology, and we don’t know yet where it will be used,’ says Lanny Smoot. In the meantime, fans can appreciate Disney’s new project and watch the magic of technology happen on the floor.


the circular surface tilts to make the floor move

people and users can be glided around with minimal effort too

the invention can amplify the immersive VR and AR gaming experience


the HoloTile Floor is dubbed world’s first multi-person, omnidirectional treadmill floor

disney holotile floor treadmill
flat floot

disney holotile floor treadmill
tilted floor


‘we don’t know yet where it will be used,’ says Lanny Smoot

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