Earlier this week, Disney showed off its vision for the future of play with “Playmation”, a new line of smart, wearable toys. These toys use a combination of motion sensors, Bluetooth and modern technology that allow children to act out stories in interactive ways. This revolutionary system of wearables and toys uses smart technology to motivate kids to run around and use their imaginations, as they become the hero or heroine of stories from across The Walt Disney Company. The system has been lauded as the next step in the evolution of play, where imagination becomes real and digital gets physical.
Leslie Ferraro, the president of Disney Consumer Products said they want to inspire children to unleash the power of their imaginations through the experiences they create and the stories they tell.
“With the new line of smart, wearable toys, we’re taking the next step in that tradition – bringing the worlds of storytelling, play, and technology together – in a new and very exciting way,” he said. He emphasized that innovation and creativity are the two most important factors behind Disney’s success.
Disney said on Playmation’s official website that up to two sets of the toys can also work together. Once kids suit up, they can also play a version of laser tag with the base station. And when the games are interrupted, the kids can later pick up a story where they left off since the adventures are stored in the cloud.
Storage of data in the cloud over time is also important for the smart action figures of the set which it uses in “teaching” the toys new abilities over time. Then there’s also a mobile app that ties everything together and lets kids download new adventures and track their progress.
These toys will not be hooked-up to the Web while children are playing with them. The Internet connection will only be required for downloading new missions or apps. The toys will also fit adult arms so parents can play with their kids or with their adult friends.
The starter pack of the new toys is based on “Avengers” theme. In 2016, Disney will launch “Star Wars” themed toys for those who do not like superheroes, and in 2017, it will launch “Frozen” gear. Disney has in the past licensed characters to traditional toymakers, so the launch of new toys represents Disney’s expansion.