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Forget Pokemon, Disney wants you to catch a dragon in their latest AR endeavor

Disney has teamed up with Google to create a Pete's Dragon themed app that recognizes objects in your home and lets Elliot the dragon interact with them.

Published onAugust 11, 2016

petes dragon

Disney has remade the classic 1977 film Pete’s Dragon, and to get you involved in the action, they’ve released an AR app that makes dragons a reality in your world. The way that it works is actually pretty impressive.

The app is Google-powered, for starters. The Google dev team employed Cloud Vision to “identify objects in the user’s field.” In a sense, the app can recognize chairs, lamps, couches, chairs, beds, trees, and other objects in your environment. Once it recognizes them, it generates a CGI dragon that interacts with them.


Augmented Reality - Everything you need to know

“For example, if the user needs to identify ‘couch,’ the website checks against a list of possible responses: ‘chair, futon, couch, sofa,'” the developers wrote. “As soon as the recognized entity matches the desired object, Elliot is revealed.”

Perfect for imaginative kids, but also interesting for tech enthusiasts as well. The app uses machine learning to correctly identify objects, and it’s the same branch of research that Google is using to detect people’s emotions from photographs and automatically moderate comments on the internet.

The app uses machine learning to correctly identify objects.

It’s a fitting utilization of modern tech to promote a film that combined real life imagery with animation in a startling and magical way in the days of the 1970’s. Although the original film was shot in live action, the dragon was animated in after the fact. This technology may seem commonplace or rudimentary to us now, but it was still pretty novel at the time.

What are your thoughts regarding Dragon Spotting and Pete’s Dragon? Let us know in the comments below!

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