It appears that the Toymorrow team in Disney’s R&D group at Consumer Products has a few thoughts about web-connected toys – so much so that they have a discussion planned at the Engage Conference and Expo on September 22nd in Santa Clara. The head of the Toymorrow team, Armen Mkrtchyan, well talk about online developments, the impact of this to kids and the industry’s response, looking at how the current business model of toys fits with gaming, and Disney’s thoughts on how standardization could lower cost and increase playability.
That’s about it for the news of the day, but there’s a lot to talk about here in between the lines. First of all, the Toymorrow team is an interesting part of DCP. They’ve been involved in things like the Netpal, Disney’s effort with Asus to bring families a kid-friendly netbook. That was one of the first things I wrote about here on DisTECH; it holds a special place in my heart! Toy technology is very interesting, actually. If you’re familiar with something like Webkinz, you know how interactive and social new toys can be. From now on, whenever I see "Toymorrow," I’ll be interested.
Second, I’m really intrigued to find out the points Mkrtchyan will touch on. What do they mean by the standardization of web-connected toys? How will toys be standardized? Standards on these sorts of things can be a double-edged sword sometimes. It can be good to develop goals and regulations. When you standardize a process, it can help cut costs. However, standards can sometimes stifle creativity. I’m looking forward to discovering Disney’s proposal and how they plan to balance this.
Until next week, when we know for sure what the plan is, what do you think about this? Have any thoughts about what they have in mind? Leave comments below and let me know!