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Added 8 April, 2015

Want the leading edge of consumer technology? Buy a toy

As new generations of children are now growing up with access to an unprecedented range of high-tech devices, companies are beginning to incorporate high-end technology into products marketed most directly to kids: toys. The level of sophistication would astonish any adult. Mattel, a major American toy company, plans to introduce an interactive, Wi-Fi-connected Hello Barbie next fall that will record and analyze children’s speech and then offer meaningful responses. The technology, called ToyTalk, developed by former Pixar employees, allows the doll to converse, play games, and even develop relationships, of a kind, with humans. Because of privacy concerns, parents will have to provide consent for their children's toys to be connected to the Internet, and will be able to both monitor and delete their children’s recorded conversations. Whatever the fate of Hello Barbie, it is certain that toy companies will continue to deploy cutting edge technology to appeal to today’s increasingly tech savvy youngsters.
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