Technologies that was changing radically the world of toys was well known for some time, especially with latest digital innovations like as AR some years ago when for launch of Avatar Movie, Mattel developed the first Card table game with AR interaction.
Now Disney announce the first Physical-digital Toys based on interaction between a traditional toys object and an iPad called “Disney Appmates“.
In an industry first, Disney introduced today Disney AppMATesTM Mobile Application Toys, a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad by allowing kids to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual play mat. Developed in collaboration between Disney Consumer Products (DCP) and Disney Mobile and featuring patent-pending technology, the Appmates toy line features miniature Disney•Pixar Cars 2 vehicles with sensors on the base of each toy that are recognized as a unique footprint by an app with no cable or Bluetooth connection required. Simply download the free Cars 2 Appmates app from the iTunes app store, place your favorite Appmates toy character on the screen and play.
The Disney experiments is very interesting but in the same time limited to the iPad eco-system, but for sure open an unbelievable section on interactive & digital solution for marketing and merchandising between the physical an digital world, exactly like as the soon incoming NFC technology for smartphone and digital wallet solutions can do.
The first toys in the Appmates series are from Pixar’s Cars. Twin packs of toy autos — each representing a character from the popular film series — will be available in stores for about $20.
Apple retail stores and Apple.com will be selling their own exclusive two-pack of Appmates in stores this October that in the future, other Disney franchises will also get the Appmates treatment.