Disney Announces Mobile App Toys that Turn the iPad into Virtual Play Mat

  • Disney announced this week its AppMATes Mobile Application Toys that use a sensor on the bottom of each toy, which identifies the object to an iPad app (no cable or Bluetooth connection required) and creates a virtual play mat for exploration and games.
  • “The ‘Cars’ toys are meant to be driven across the top of an iPad, interacting with a downloadable ‘Cars 2’ Appmates app, which lets kids drive around courses, race and complete missions,” explains Engadget. “The app will be offered up as a free download through iTunes, and the cars will run $20 for a two-pack — the different toys unlock different features, according to Disney.”
  • “We have cracked the technology code in changing the way kids play with their toys,” said Sunny Lauridsen, director of digital toys for Disney Consumer Products. “Kids will always use toys to play out their favorite Disney stories, but Disney Appmates now allows them to include technology which has become a way of life for them through a beautifully rich app.”
  • According to the press release: “Each toy unlocks different features and content within the app specific to the character, allowing kids to come back over and over to enjoy an imaginative, open-ended play experience using the Appmates toys. Fans can download and test the app by simply using their fingers to drive a virtual car through the world, but the play experience is optimized to come to life with the Appmates toy vehicles.”
  • The toys will be available in October through the Apple Store, Apple Store online, Disney Stores, DisneyStore.com and national retailers.