The Walt Disney Co. is releasing an iPhone application that rewards users for poking through the Disney.com Web site and could one day offer exclusive bonuses for activities such as shopping at Disney Stores.
The free app, which debuts in the iTunes app store Wednesday, offers bonus animations to users who follow clues to take cell-phone pictures of characters from movies such as "Up," "G-Force," "Ratatouille," and "Wall-E" on the Web site.
Taking the correct picture unlocks an exclusive video and downloadable content such as frame images that can be overlaid on photos, or wallpaper images for cell phone screens. Disney is calling the feature "Click2Life," because it makes characters captured in photos appear to suddenly become animated in one's hand. In the future, the family entertainment company said it could allow bonus content to be delivered to phones based on their location, pinpointed with GPS coordinates, such as inside a Disney Store. Future photo keys could also include movie posters to drive interest in the company's upcoming releases.
Jason Davis, vice president of Disney.com, said the main purpose of the app was to deepen fan relationships with Disney characters, rather than just drive traffic to stores, theaters and online. "We treat it just as a unique content experience," Davis said. The app also corrals all of Disney's 17 apps together in one place, allowing users to shop for other programs and manage ones they have already purchased, some of which sell for $4.99. The app is unrelated to a so-called "Keychest" technology that Disney is developing to give consumers access to movies across multiple devices with one purchase.