Disney Launches New App With ‘Click2Life’ Tool

Disney has launched a new application for Apple’s iPhone and iTouch devices, with a feature that will enable users to take pictures of items from the real world, and in doing so, will unlock unique content within the app.

By using the free apps “Click2Life” tool, users can take pictures of images from Disney by literally lining up an iPhone in front of a computer screen and snapping pictures from the site. Those photos of Disney.com will instantly become 3D images within the app, said Jason Davis, vice president, Disney.com.

But according to Davis, the long-term plan for Click2Life is for users to be able to take pictures of items from the real world, such as a Disney movie poster or product from a Disney store, to unlock proprietary content or offers.

Besides the innovative photo technology, the new Disney.com app features videos, games, sections dedicated to individual characters and live streaming of Disney Radio, among other offerings. The idea is for the app to serve as something of a central hub for all other Disney mobile apps, said Davis. To date, the company has rolled out several brand-specific applications for properties such as Toy Story and Fairies. “We want this to be a holistic representation of Disney,” Davis said.

According to Davis, Disney has seen an upswing in mobile traffic, particularly from the Web-surfing-friendly iPhone and iTouch. So why create a dedicated application if these devices are already drawing fans?

“We really wanted to give this audience a very special application that didn’t have to rely on a Web connection,” he said. “And we tried to build something that takes advantage of its unique abilities”—such as the camera and the device’s “accelerometer,” which recognizes when users rotate and shake their iPhones.

The new Disney app is ad supported. Executives said that several of Disney’s regular roster of online and mobile advertisers are scheduled to receive placements within the app starting in November.