Did you grow up with Barbie? The iconic dolls are always evolving and adapting to changing times. She got her start in 1959 and has been a doctor, a lawyer, a business executive, and not to mention fashion mogul, pop star, idol, veterinarian, an even a Corvette driver. She has a wide circle of friends and pets and everyone seems to love her. Is there anything Barbie can't do?
Well, there was one thing ... She couldn't talk. Other toys like Teddy Ruxpin could talk, why not Barbie? That's all about to change. Barbie is getting a digital makeover that will allow her to carry on easy and seamless two-way conversations with the doll's owner.
The new "Hello Barbie" is being developed by Mattel and a company called ToyTalk, which has created the speech-recognition software Barbie will use. The software will listen to a child's voice and adapt to it over time. So for example, if a little girl likes to dance, Barbie will remember and ask the child to dance in the future.
The recognition software will be inside Barbie's necklace and will have a microphone, speaker and two LED lights. Her rechargeable batteries will be housed inside her legs.
She was unveiled at the New York Toy Fair on Feb. 14 and is expected to retail for around $75, although no release date has been set.
Sound dangerous? It's possible that it could be. With the rise of smart-everything, hackers are also finding ways to corrupt them. Click here for my report on how dolls can be hacked to say some naughty things.
What do you think about Barbie's digital makeover? Let me know what you think in the comments below.