Taking multitouch to the next level, Disney has released Appmates, small Hot Wheels-sized toys from the Pixar movie Cars, that physically interact with the multitouch screen on the iPad. The cars from Cars "drive" across the screen, with racing and other games reacting to the cars' movements. Disney calls the technology a "virtual play mat" where kids can experience the world of Radiator Springs.
The cars sell for $20 as a 2-pack, with the companion apps available for free. Different toys unlock different features, offering different games if children play with Mater or Lightning McQueen, for example. The toys go on sale next month at Apple and Disney retail stores, and various other retailers.
Apple Chairman Steve Jobs, as the former CEO and owner of Pixar, is the largest stockholder in Disney and a member of the Disney board.
Disney recently released Where's My Water?, which toppled Angry Birds as the #1 paid application on the App Store. The $0.99 game, which is reminiscent of Cut the Rope, involves getting water to Swampy, an alligator who is trying to take a shower.