While there is some promise behind these high tech products, many believe the concept is lacking.
Disney has announced a line of augmented reality toys that allow a child to view the object through a smartphone or tablet in order to watch a favorite character interact with the item, but many reviews have indicated that the technology may not quite be adequately developed to provide the magical experience with which the company is typically associated.
Though there are some strengths to the idea, critics are calling it gimmicky and confusing.
Is augmented reality ready for the type of play experience that Disney is hoping to achieve? The products have been geared toward a very young demographic, in order to allow them to both play with the toys and watch their favorite characters do the same, with a certain level of interaction, as well.
However, many wonder if this type of augmented reality product is being released too soon for the tech.
It may be that the concept itself has not been fully developed in order to allow for the ideal level of interaction and, therefore, value to be obtained in this type of product. While those who are in favor of the toys feels that it adds an added element of fun and magic, critics wonder why a child should have to set the toy aside and watch a character play with it, instead of actually using the object him or herself.
At the same time, they augmented reality feature of the toys does offer an added experience, not only through the fun of watching a favorite character magically appear to play with the toy, but the animated characters also encourage the child to participate through song and interactive games.
Though the concept may be somewhat basic, it is still applying a great deal of fascinating technology that remains in its infancy in terms of consumer involvement. As adults seem divided, it appears that it will need to be the children who decide whether or not the effort was worthwhile.
The toys themselves were created and manufactured by a licensee called Jakks. They worked together with NantWorks, which is a company that uses augmented reality primarily for Disney developing and advertising.