We've been hearing for a while about an augmented reality toy project from Disney, and now Reuters has published details about what part of that could entail. According to their writeup, Disney has partnered with a company called Jaxx to create a line of toys that can be recognized by phone or tablet apps, then trigger animations based on Disney's movies or other properties. In the example seen by Reuters, pointing an iPad camera at a set of Little Mermaid-branded bongo drums will cause the crab Sebastian to come on-screen and perform a song by "playing" them. Specific animations could also be used to sell the products in stores, like an animated Tinkerbell who flies out of her box when shoppers look at her with a smartphone camera.
Unlike Skylanders, the Activision game that incorporates toys and augmented reality, these early Disney examples don't seem to have an interactive component. While it certainly looks like the company has licensed well-known characters, the idea of asking a child to stare at a stationary toy to see animations is frankly pretty boring. Fortunately, Reuters confirms that other toy-based augmented reality projects are on the table as well. Polygon has previously reported that a mid-January event will unveil something called Disney Infinity, rumored to be a project that allows collectible toys based on Disney and Pixar characters to interact with console games.