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Disney seeks patent that hints at gaming console

The U.S Patent and Trademark Office registers a patent application from the entertainment titan pertaining to an "augmented reality device." Is this the Toy Box?

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has logged a patent application from Disney that points toward a gaming console that focuses on 3D augmented reality, which may provide a hint about the company's reported gaming endeavor, the Toy Box.

The patent application describes techniques underlying a device that can capture a real scene and then augment it, such as taking a picture of a coffee mug on top of a table and then animating the cup. When the user looks at the mug through the device, it will look like a cartoon character, for example. The images included in the patent documents show a handheld device that looks rather like a Nintendo DS.

Could this be the beginnings of the reported Toy Box console? A Disney executive previously described the Toy Box as a console with "extensive mobile and online applications," with interactions from various Pixar and Disney characters.

It does give some inkling of what Disney may be dreaming up. Also, as Patently Apple points out, Disney's new hardware venture could end up with some Apple magic as well, given Apple's aim to expand into gaming. The two companies have had a long history, considering Apple founder Steve Jobs' connections to Pixar.