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disney dream play

Disney Dream Play brings augmented reality to the masses

January 9, 2013

disney dream play

Disney Dream Play makes toys high tech

Disney has teamed up with toy company JAKKS Pacific and Patrick Soon-Shiong (known as the wealthiest person in Los Angeles) to develop its first augmented-reality toys, which will allow children to virtually interact with its well-known characters. The app will be available for download on Apple or Android devices, according to Reuters, and Dream Play toys will be able to trigger animations on the device’s screen.

By pointing the device’s camera on the toy, users will be able to see amusing animated characters, for example, “fairies appear to glide in and out of buildings, animated critters start playing musical instruments, mythical characters prance on a toy piano’s keyboard.”

The Disney Dream Play app suite is designed to extend the play life of the toys, and while it remains to be seen if children will take to this new virtual dimension, adaptation rates of technologies has accelerated, particularly in the youngest age brackets, with most toddlers knowing how to operate an iPad before they can even talk.

Wait, what is augmented reality

Augmented reality has massive business and tech implications, from interactive train windows to being able to point your phone at any home in a neighborhood to see its sales history, to turning a desk into a touchscreen device, and so forth.

Augmented reality is often misunderstood, however, but think of it this way – you know on tv when you watch a football game, and the field has yellow lines on it, but in person they’re not really there? The camera renders a virtual (“augmented”) reality as a layer on top of reality, and now, cameras of smartphones and tablets can render an extra layer that only exists digitally.

It is no surprise that Disney is one of the first to implement augmented reality into their toys, as retailers like Lego have had augmented reality displays in store, and through some print offering, with more likely on the way. But it isn’t just fun time play toys, real businesses can use augmented reality in their advertising, with tools like Metaio which allows users to create a campaign in seconds.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.


  1. Remember when children used to play with there figurines, go outside or do arts and crafts? This is not healthy for any society.

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