"Children will push the Appmates cars around the iPad screen to explore the virtual world
Disney's next big iPad app? There are toy cars for that. The entertainment company has unveiled a new range of physical toys called Appmates, which will be used to interact with apps on Apple's tablet.
The first Disney brand to get the Appmates treatment is Pixar's Cars. There will be six toy cars sold in packs of one or two for £12.99 and £19.99 respectively, which go on sale in October. They will be sold in Disney's physical stores and on its website, as well as in Apple's real-world and online stores.
The companion iPad app will be free to download. It includes a mode for children who don't own one of the physical toys (or at least don't have one to hand).
"We've been working on this exciting new technology that really brings together the physical world and the app and tablet world," says Jeff Jones, vice president and general manager for digital games for Disney's european division. "They have a capacitive footprint, so when you put them onto the tablet, it recognises what the toy is, where it's positioned and what direction it's pointing in."
Children drive the cars around the virtual Radiator Springs world by pinching the two front windows with their thumb and finger to complete the conductive circuit. They can explore, stop by characters from the Cars movies to talk and get missions, and take part in races. Buying more toy cars opens up new areas of the world, while additional levels will also be released in the coming months, bought by the parent through Apple's in-app payments system...."