Ivan Poupyrev's Virtual Reality at Disney

Unlocking the Door to the Magic Kingdom
Photograph by Ross Mantle for Bloomberg Businessweek

Ivan Poupyrev is a touchy-feely kind of guy—in a technical sense. The 42-year-old senior research scientist at Disney Research in Pittsburgh has created an orchid that emits sounds when its stem is stroked and a knob that unlocks a door when it’s touched a certain way. The technology that Poupyrev and his six-person team are developing could one day be deployed just about anywhere Disney has a presence—from movie theaters to amusement parks to cruise ships.

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