Over the last few years, web-connected toys quickly moved from being novelty items to relatively standard fare in a lot of kids’ bedrooms. As of now, however, there are no standard platforms for web-connected toys. Disney plans to change this later this month. The company plans to announce a set of industry development and technology standards for these kinds of toys at the Engage Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, CA later this month.
At this conference, Armen Mkrtchyan, the technology manger for toys and consumer electronics in Disney’s consumer products group, plans to detail the company’s exact plans. While the details of Disney’s plans are still vague, the conference announcement notes that Disney plans to “address the benefits and issues surrounding the establishment of standards for the development and creation of web connected toys.” According to Disney’s Kenlip Ong, the head of R&D at Disney Toys and Electronics, “Web connected toys are now the norm but companies are left to their own devices when it comes to design and implementation.”
As one of the biggest players in toy industry, Disney surely holds a lot of sway among its peers. Whether the industry will be able to agree on Disney’s proposed standard remains to be seen, but there can be little doubt that having a set of standards for these toys will allow developers to save on R&D cost. Whether these standards will benefit consumers, though, remains to be seen. The toy industry is not known for creating toys that are interoperable and play well with each other, so chances are that this will not change with web-connected toys, either.