My children are obsessed with voice assistants for the home. My three-year-old and seven-year-old ask Alexa or Google about the current weather, their favorite music, and strange questions about nature on an almost daily basis. I'm sure many parents can relate.
Imagine instead of Alexa responding to your children's inquiries, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and almost two dozen other Disney characters doing so. Depending on how much you adore Disney, this will either make you feel like you're at Walt Disney World or become your worst nightmare.
Hey Disney, Disney's first home voice assistant, will soon be accessible on Echo devices via the Alexa Skills Store or as part of an Amazon Kids+ membership, Amazon revealed at CES 2023. With a simple "Hey Disney!" command, the voice assistant communicates with kids, parents, and Disney Adults in many of the same ways you already interact plus the Alexa voice assistant, with extra capabilities like as Disney Trivia and Star Wars soundscapes, to name a few.
At CES, Amazon and Disney gave Mashable a hands-on demonstration of the home voice assistant, which you can view in the video below.
Over 20 Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars characters, including Genie from Aladdin and Olaf from Frozen, were able to react to basic topics such as the current weather. During the demonstration, we also heard an interactive story from Mater from Cars and used Donald Duck to set a 30-second timer. The primary voice assistant is referred to as Disney Magical Companion, and it directs the question before passing it to a random Disney character.
After experiencing the trial, I found the voice assistant's interaction with Disney's MagicBand+ to be more intriguing than the voice assistant itself.
In case you haven't visited a Disney theme park in the last decade, the MagicBand is a watch-sized wearable gadget that allows you to swiftly access the parks, skip lines with Disney's new FastPass system, Genie+, and more. It is essentially your admission pass to Disneyland and Disney World. There is a premium version of the wearable with interactive capabilities called MagicBand+ that performs the same functions. For instance, the MagicBand+ will illuminate when you pass certain sculptures at Magic Kingdom, and when you tap the device, the statue's character will speak to you.
A big difficulty with the MagicBands, though, is that they are essentially useless outside of the parks. This will soon not be the case. In our demonstration, when Donald Duck's timer ran off, all of the associated MagicBand+ gadgets lit up. According to Disney, future integrations include the ability to play Disney Trivia with Hey Disney and several participants tapping their MagicBand+ in order to be the first to respond.