By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LAS VEGAS — Disney at International CES earlier this month demonstrated its first foray into alternate reality (AR) gaming.
DreamPlay, an AR app that runs on a smartphone or tablet, will interact with a line of DreamPlay toys to trigger interaction and content on the device’s screen.
The Disney DreamPlay line incorporates Nant- Works’ proprietary iD image technology which, the company said, is capable of differentiating between millions of objects instantaneously. The integration of the technology with Disney characters enables the consumer to experience “a seamless blending of the physical toy with new character-based content, in the form of interactive games and animation right on their smartphone or tablet device,” the company said.
The company is a joint venture between NantWorks, Jakks Pacific and Disney Consumer Products.
The DreamPlay app works via the Cloud, with images and interactions stored on a remote server and streamed to mobile devices when the app is opened and the camera is pointed at the toys.
The company’s CES demo showed a pair of “The Little Mermaid” toy bongos and an iPad. Pointing the iPad’s camera at the bongos generated a clip of one of “Mermaid’s” characters, Sebastian the Crab, overlaid on the camera image playing the bongos and singing.
The toy line, slated to roll out to retailers in October, will feature many popular Disney characters, though only Tinker Bell, from “Peter Pan,” was confirmed by the company.
“What really sets this apart from anything else out there is the combination of a truly incredible technological platform combined with the best content and story-telling company in the world, Disney. Kids are about to see the magic they always dreamed of come to life right before their eyes,” Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, NantWorks’ founder.
DreamPlay and Jakks plan to launch the line in the U.S. in the fall and internationally in 2014.
The apps will be developed for both iOS and Android devices.
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