The World's Most Innovative Companies 2016
With technology playing an ever-increasing role in everyday life, plenty of parents are worried that their children aren't physically active enough. Entertainment conglomerate Disney's new endeavour, Playmation, takes an ambitious step towards bridging the gap between technology and real-life activity by combining the two via smart, wearable toys. Launched in October 2015, Playmation's inaugural playset focuses on the Avengers; kids get a replica of Iron Man's Repulsor to wear, as well as two smart figures (Captain America and Iron Skull) which they can use to interact with a mobile app and track their progress through 25 missions. The idea is to get kids away from the TV screen and onto their feet--the toys don't require an Internet connection once they're set up, so can be used anywhere from the living room to the backyard. They also communicate with one another and track the user's movements and actions, sending data back to the mobile app to record progress, grant rewards, and unlock new missions. And while the first playset features just the Avengers, Disney says it plans to release new playsets that center on Star Wars and Frozen in the coming years, letting children interact with and become a part of their favorite Disney universe.
Meanwhile Disney subsidiary Pixar is continuing to push the boundaries of animated filmmaking. With "Inside Out" the animation studio demonstrated yet again how to bring sophisticated themes to audiences of all ages and build a blockbuster around a female lead while making a heart-wrenching and beautiful film. The film was one of the biggest hits of summer 2015, racking up $553 million worldwide and beating out "Jurassic World" its opening weekend.