Disney previously launched a site young girls could use to build their own Fairy (DisneyFairies.com). Since then over 4.5 million fairy avatars have been built. Per a 19 Feb 2008 press release, Disney is now in process of opening an online world called Pixie Hollow (PixieHollow.com) in which young girls can actually fly around as their fairy avatar. Two types of charm bracelets and some charms will allow real world interactions to be replicated online. A magic jewelry case (with a USB port to your computer) “reads” your charm bracelet. The special charms are then replicated in the online world. A great feature is the ability to touch your bracelet to your friend’s bracelet and push the “friend button”. Now the next time you put your bracelet in your magic jewelry box, you and your friend’s avatars become friends online as well.
Another accessory is a handheld game that can be used to gain “points” for use in the online world.
Techno Source calls the interactive technology used in the game components (charms, bracelets, jewelry box) “Clickables”. Disney has nice Tinkerbell sounding names for them: Pixie Dust Jewelry Collection, Tink Friendship eBracelets (includes the Friendship feature), Tink’s eCharm Bracelet,Â Fairy eCharms, Tink and Friends Fly with me eLCD game. A nice image of them is available on GadgetsGizmo’s.
As we understand it, communication online will be accomplished by selecting phrases (similar to Barbie Girls) or typed text with a filter. Combined with great graphics, several games, interactive areas, and the Disney brand, this site may pull more young girls online, as well as pull them over from competitive virtual worlds. It looks like a great application and we wish them well.
If this technology (“Clickables”) follows form with other interactive devices, we may soon see “Fairy Hackers” figuring out how to get the bracelets, charms, and jewelry box to do additional tricks? (Hack Furby, Hack Aibo, Hack Tamagotchi, Hack Roomba, etc.).
Will the Dark Side use Pixie Hollow? – it will be interesting to see if auxiliary applications spring up outside the game to use the interactivity (using the verification of the charms, the bracelets, etc) inside the game. For example, the ability to pass previously coded messages (such as “I like your hair” means “put $100 on Seabiscuit in the 6th”) between two authenticated avatars. This communication channel might be utilized by everybody from computer hackers to terrorists. Not exactly Disney’s intentions.Â But that is true of most technologies. They can be used for good or for evil. Let’s all promise to use this one for good!
In terms of future applications, Disney has already said they are looking at “Clickables” in Club Penguin. We anticipate other virtual worlds to follow, especially because it is a way to monetize virtual worlds (sell bracelets, charms, collectibles) that have both “real world” and “virtual world” uses. Plus when those objects are worn in public, people ask about them, and even more are led to their online world.