This video and product has been out for a while, but somehow it slipped under my radar. Probably because I don’t have kids, and partly because I just missed it when the RSS feed came through my reader.
AppMates from Disney is a new line of Disney toys that comes to life when paired with a corresponding iPad application. This allows kids to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual play surface. AppMates is at first being released with toys from Disney•Pixar Cars 2. Each car has a sensor in the base that allows the car to be recognized as unique by the iPad application. There is no need for cables, or a Bluetooth connection. Put the toy on the screen and the interaction begins. All you need to do is download Appmates from the app store, and place the toy on the screen.
What I really like about this is the way Disney has been able to blend both physical and digital products to create a seamless experience. All of which is tied into other Disney product lines which helps to extend brand reach and alternate product sales. This is the kind of product that shows you can blend physical and digital product lines. Disney score points with me is they were able to launch the product line within 90 days of the movie release. Where they lose points is, this product didn’t launch at the same time as the main Cars 2 product offering. None the less great idea and execution from Disney.