Disney Mobile has come up with a clever new way for kids to play with the iPad -- as an interactive play mat. Dubbed AppMATes, players will be able to interact with a new iPad game based on Pixar's Cars 2 (more games to come) using real-world toy cars on the iPad display.

In an industry first, Disney introduced today Disney AppMATesTM Mobile Application Toys, a new toy line that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad by allowing kids to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual play mat.

The way it works is simple: each toy car has a capacitive sensor on the bottom, and once placed on the iPad these sensors start sending information to the game related to position, movement and character the player is using. The toy car interfaces with the iPad touchscreen seamlessly without the need for bluetooth or any wires and lets the player move the car across the screen while the app reacts to the toys movement in real-time.

Kids will be able to roam around Radiator Springs and Route 66 during gameplay and there's also a free-play mode where kids can complete mission and compete in head-to-head races.

The only concern I have with this is breaking the iPad screen if too much pressure is applied. This could be scary for some parents out there, so a good iPad case would go a long way (we recommend the OtterBox Defender Series).

Either way, this approach breathes new life into play mats by pushing it into the digital age with the iPad. Check out the video below to get a good idea of how awesome this is going to be for kids!

Source: Disney