One of the most popular doll manufacturers is without a doubt Mattel, the company that invented the Barbie doll.
Now Mattel unveiled its latest Barbie called Hello Barbie, which is a “smartdoll” that can record the words of its owners and engage in conversations with them.
Hello Barbie was developed by a San Francisco-based startup company called ToyTalk.
The startup said that it received funds of more than $31 million from companies like First Round Capital, True Ventures, Khosla, Charles River Ventures, Greylocl Partners and others.
The new Hello Barbie has a Wi-Fi connectivity, a speaker, a microphone and a small computer that runs on batteries.
In order to activate Barbie, the user need to press the button located on her belt buckle. This way, Barbie comes to life, asks the user a question and activates the doll’s microphone.
Barbie can record what the child replies, encodes it and sends it to one of ToyTalk’s special servers. There, the audio is processed by a software that can recognize voices and allows ToyTall’s servers to understand what the conversation is about and what is the best way to reply.
Hello Barbie has scripts stored inside and selects them depending on what the child is asking. If the child is interested in a particular hobby, the doll’s software will figure out what the doll will say next. This gives the impression that Barbie is a good friend that listens.
The ToyTalk servers record everything all the conversations between the child and the doll, and this way it can improve Barbie’s scripted replies. It also helps develop a better voice-recognition code.
The Hello Barbie doll is still in prototype mode and it will be unveiled at the 2015 Toy Fair in New York.
According to its manufacturer, the smart doll will be available in time for Christmas 2015 and will cost approximately $75.
The doll includes a PC application that will allow the user to configure the Wi-Fi connection. Parents can specify which conversation topics are off limits and can personalize the new Hello Barbie doll by adding personal information, like a pet’s name.
Image Source: regmedia
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