Disney unveiled a set of high-tech toys recently that merge wearable technologies, toys, and their billion-dollar Avengers franchise in an interesting, innovative way. Called Disney Playmation, the toys emphasize real-world play with a digital component. Players don gloves or gauntlets of their favorite Avenger, then are talked through a mission by JARVIS (Iron Man’s artificial intelligence companion) or another character, giving them instructions such as how to approach an imaginary target. The story updates as they make progress, and the wearer gets points for following direction and ultimately defeating villains that appear.
The gloves and gauntlets are packed with technology – Bluetooth, gesture-recognition, and cloud connectivity are loaded into the cuffs – but don’t require an internet connection, meaning these would work at a park or large outdoor space just as well as indoors. In addition to the “missions” there is also a free play option, as well as a multiplayer mode.
The wearable toy is at the center of a greater connected system that features two hubs (where the player aims the repulser on its arm to rack up points and defeat bad guys). Beating certain levels unlocks friends like Black Widow and Falcon to help future battles, as they jump, dodge and duck their way through various adventures.
Mashable believes this could be the future of interactive gaming. “At a time when toy companies feel pressured to add more tech to products in an effort to relate to a more-connected generation, Playmation isn’t just adding technology for the sake of adding technology,” writes Samantha Murphy Kelly. “Instead, it is a thoughtful step back toward traditional play, with the guidance of technology.”
— Playmation (@Playmation) June 12, 2015
Disney will begin taking preorders in July for an October launch. Disney also plans to add Star Wars and Frozen-themed characters over the course of the next couple of years. And, better news: the gloves and gauntlets fit adults as well as children.
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