Mattel introduces the Hot Wheels ID, which allows kids to run their NFC-enabled Hot Wheels on their Smart Track, and scan the collections into a free iOS app. In the app, which acts as a virtual garage, kids can track speed and laps via infrared sensors in the Hot Wheels Race Portal, which scans your cars and connects to classic Hot Wheels tracks. It sounds great to children who are obsessively tracking details, and using cold, hard data to back up claims on if car is faster.
Businesses have tried to find ways to keep classic brands alive by turning on digital components, but sometimes in ways that felt too forced. Anki Drive, another toy launched as an Apple exclusive, was a smartphone-controlled racing game with a similar focus on statistics, but the company finally folded, never really found an audience, and Hot Wheels themselves have been healing around incorporated technology in its classic series of racing cars, from a disappointingly magnified reality game that only worked on some devices, to remotely controlled cars.
But robotics companies such as Anki and Sphero have opened interest in toys that mix the physical and digital, and it feels like traditional toy companies are now finding their way. At least, Hot Wheels ID keeps the aspect of physical play alive, and costs it with virtual challenges and mini-games.
For children who already own Hot Wheels slots, they can only use a phone or Race Portal to scan in the new ID cars, which have NFC chips on the bottom to store the car's performance data. According [EngTheadvantageofgettingtheSmartTrackKitwillbetheincludedboosttolaunchthecarsasHotWheelscalltheirfastestandmostpowerfuleverandbeabletotrackdistanceandspeedwiththeSmartTracks16USB-connectedparts
The set is available exclusively on Apple.com and Apple stores, and an Android version of the app will be available on Google Play July 10. Individual Hot Wheel ID vehicles cost $ 6.99, while Race Portal, which includes two ID cars, is $ 39.99. Smart Track Kit, which comes with two ID cars, Smart Portal and 16 pieces, costs $ 179.99.