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Thread: Ear to Ear Networking.

  1. #121
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    I have been following this thread for a while, and decided to put in my $.05 (sorry, inflation).

    Background:

    While I do not frequent Disneyland, I regularly travel to the Orlando variant. I have dealt with their IR systems before when I purchased a "Pal Mickey", and did some research into it at the time. While not dealing directly with the ears, it may help uncover their inner workings.

    The Pal Mickey is a stuffed mouse with electronics that can act as a "tour guide" while you travel around the parks. He receives data by an IR receiver located in his nose. This means that the park is outfitted with IR transmitters EVERYWHERE, but they were there long before Pal Mickey was made. The IR transmitters (and possibly receivers) are housed in black boxes, best guess 4"x6", containing close to 100 individual IR LED's. I'm led to believe they were installed years ago as part of the hearing/visual impaired devices, allowing them to display/play the correct information when you walk throughout the park. The pal mickey was incorporated into the system, as it already existed. What I've been unsure about is how some of the advanced features work. He can talk about new attractions since he was purchased without a software update, and can inform you of how long you have until the start of a show/parade, and even if an attraction in the park has a short wait.

    So what does all this have to do with the ears?

    I'm almost convinced that they would be on the same system. Disneyland most likely has the same system for the hearing and visually impaired. I watched an entire 30 minute video of the show with the ears, and discovered a few things that I have yet to see anyone mention.

    1. The coverage area is very large. The system has many many transmitters with the same base signal. Here at the end of the show you can see just how many hats were there, and how large the coverage area had to have been. Also, it appears as if they go back to hat-to-hat mode and it takes time for different signals to start to propagate through the crowd.

    http://youtu.be/YlllbUCyCBg?t=29m17s

    2. At 6 seconds in when the show starts, all the ears go from the "roam" interactive mode, to listening to the main signal. They all turn off instantly. How do the ears know what signal to listen to? There seem to be no stragglers, or confused hats as to listening to other ears instead of the main signal.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlllbUCyCBg

    3. There may be different carrier signals, and different batches of the hat are tuned to different ones? Or there is something else going on that I don't get and should be investigated. Not all hats act the same during the show! The following clip shows a portion of the show where this can be seen. Those that are red don't become blue, and all of those don't turn green. How are the hats addressed so that they only display one of the colors?

    http://youtu.be/YlllbUCyCBg?t=27m25s

    4. They even work with live music! Here is a video of the ears working at the Mad T Party. They are interfaced with the lighting system used by the DJ. Not the quickest response time, but working just like they would with a Christmas Display.



    I hope I didn't loose anyone in my descriptions. As I said before, I didn't see any of these mentioned, and thought I should point them out. Hopefully it will help uncover their inner workings.
    2011:

    5,000 lights; 48 channels.

  2. #122
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    What would it take to build an IR recording device. I can get pretty much daily access to Disney Anaheim to sniff the area and video some sequences. I have the ability to prototype using Prop controller boards but would need help with the SW.

    Tom

  3. #123
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    Here’s an entire ½ hour show. Take a look at 12:40 where a large audience is shown. All of the ears respond at the same time.



    BTW: You can run this at 1080p.
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  4. #124
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    One interesting thing that I’ve noticed while watching several YouTube videos is that while the entire area has to be major flooded with infrared, there is absolutely no wandering of camera focus in any of the video’s.
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  5. #125
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    Flooded from behind the Cameras? Might be planned that way as some cameras pickup the IR and would "see" the transmitters..

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    My wife and I were talking about what could you do if you made a high power hat that could take control of ears around you. I think if you only turned is on in areas where they were not broadcasting their own signal they likely would not get really excited.

    HOWEVER, if Disney's surveillance cameras see in the infrared, and I suspect they do, your going to stand out like a road flare at night so I suspect that it would not take long for them to find you. This is especially true if your an annual pass holder where they have your picture on file and we know that they have to have face recognition software just like Vegas.

    Still, how fun it would be to take control of a few hundred mouse ears

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    Remember, infrared is just like any other light and it will reflect in all directions. I would expect to see at least a haze once in a while. I would expect to see something on cellphone pictures too.

    You see IR on some camera’s while taking video or pictures while using a TV remote. Looks like firing photon torpedos on the old Start Trek.
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  8. #128
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    Quote Originally Posted by timon View Post
    My wife and I were talking about what could you do if you made a high power hat that could take control of ears around you.
    I’m sure they’re expecting you.
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  9. #129
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    I'm sure they have a "No Ear List" just like our No Fly List. They are tracking this thread right now. LOL

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Ear to Ear Networking.

    Two quick points:
    1. They are obliviously using many IR transmitter modules as evidence when there is a "wave of color" that goes from one side of the crowd to the other. Just like we send a signal to one or all channels I am sure there doing the same.
    2. When you see pictures where the ears appear to not be in sync (some red, some blue, etc.) it's possible they have a either a random command OR they sent the command for the ears to link up with each other. just a guess here.
    Jeff Squires

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