Back when it was just a prototype, the iPawn game pieces had us scratching our heads over how they interacted with a touchscreen. But now that they'll officially be available this month, we have a better idea of how they turn the iPad into an interactive board game.
Unlike Disney's toys that interact with an iPad through the use of metal pads on their underside, the iPawn tokens are apparently made from a special ABS plastic that conducts the energy from your fingers to the iPad's display. So while just sitting on the screen the pieces aren't recognized, but once a player moves them to a new location, their position will be detected triggering animations, sounds, and presumably keeping track of the game's progress and score. The iPawn tokens will be sold in $16 kits with a free accompanying app, each customized for a specific game including paddles for Air Hockey and miniature ladders for Snakes & Ladders. And while it's a clever use of the technology, I think the real innovation here is that they've found another way to distract kids with an iPad, without them having to get their greasy fingerprints all over it. [iPawn via Coolest Gadgets]