According to Disney Research, the academic arm of one of the world’s foremost behemoths in digital content, the best way to save the children from the overwhelming proliferation of digital content is to turn analog activities … into digital content. Noting that “real-world activities like coloring can seem unexciting” to today’s born-digital generation, Disney is testing technology that could bring kids’ drawings to life in Pixar-esque 3D via an app, The technology is still in its developmental stages, but the Disney Research team recently displayed its plausibility in a paper entitled Live Texturing of Augmented Reality Characters from Colored Drawings — basically a fancy way of saying that, indeed, kids could color a dancing elephant’s pants blue, and then by using a special app, see a 3D version of said elephant rocking out in his blue party pants just like they had colored them.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=16&v=SWzurBQ81CM expand=1]
In the past, a Disney version of “augmented reality” meant a questionably-appropriate-for-children scene involving a baby elephant and some psychedelic booze. However, soon it might be as simple as adding an iPad to your coloring routine. Just be extra careful about staying within the lines; you wouldn’t want to destroy an entire virtual world, would you? The stakes of coloring have seriously been raised.