As the father of a beautiful 3-year-old daughter, I have played with my fair share of Barbies. (And let’s not forget her male counterpart, Ken!) And, since Barbie and Ken can’t talk on their own, I’ve made up my fair share of voices so they could have conversations with themselves and my daughter at the same time. My daughter makes up her own voices for each of the Barbies too, and can spend hours playing in her own imaginative little world with them. Here’s the thing, though – obviously, she has to do all the work – the Barbies don’t talk on their own. (You might be thinking, “How could they? They’re toys for Pete’s sake!”) And you’d be correct in your thinking – but only for the time being, because Mattel is hard at work creating what they’re calling Hello Barbie, a new kind of Barbie that will be able to connect to the internet and have real, full-on conversations with your kids thanks to Toytalk Technology.
Hello Barbie won’t just give “pat answers”, either – its software enables it to respond intelligently to whatever someone says or asks. It’ll also remember what your child likes and/or doesn’t like so it can either talk about or avoid those subjects in the future.
It’s hard to imagine having a toy that really and truly interacts with a child and it not getting repetitive after a while. I guess we’ll all just have to wait and see how intelligent Hello Barbie truly is. I guess with everything going “smart” these days, we really shouldn’t be surprised toys are getting the upgrade as well.
[Image via Fast Company]