Inside Disney's Ambitious Plan to Build the Coolest Toy of the Decade
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
Disney has a plan to fight the irresistible pull of screens with even cooler technology. Earlier this month, Disneyunveiled Playmation, a combination of hardware and apps meant to get kids playing outside again.
When you strap on Playmation's armband and turn it on, the toy creates a sort of video game in real life, turning the wearer into a giant action figure fighting imaginary villains. Each Playmation set is themed around a popular Disney-owned franchise — the first being Marvel's Avengers series. So the first kit, which will roll out toward the end of 2015, will imitate Stark's repulsor, the contraption at the end of Tony Stark's forearm. It's got various attack modes, buttons, missiles and an accelerometer.
It sounds like virtual reality:
The one piece of the puzzle that makes the whole kit more of a digital product than simply a franchised version of laser tag, is the app.
The repulsor and power activator collect data about game progress that gives players access to further missions and stories. On top of that, there's additional downloadable content that Disney can roll out over time — the physical toy version of an app upgrade.
"When you register your gear to the app, similar to an activity tracker, you'll be able to visualize the world, and all of the character and the enemies," Afsoun Yazdian, who runs product development for Playmation, told Mic. "So you see your scores, how you're progressing and connect with friends. The app is a critical way for the fun to never end, because there's additional missions to download to your physical gear."
The first three they are building are Avengers, Star Wars, and Frozen.