As both a child of the 1960's and as a parent today, I have to admit that I have just a little bit of reservation about this latest break-through Barbie doll development. Here's why. Like millions of my generation I spent many an hour playing with my dolls, often with elaborate conversations between them and me. Where those conversations went was limited only by my childhood imagination.
Now thanks to technology, amazing gadgets and gizmos built right into toys can actually carry on those conversations automatically. The latest version of the famous Barbie doll will have the power to listen to the child and actually speak back to them.
If you've got an Apple or Microsoft phone or tablet, then you've probably met both of the platforms' voice-activated digital assistants. Both Siri and Cortana have fun personalities and weirdly elaborate back stories. You can find out more by asking them questions like "Do you have a boyfriend?"
ToyTalk is a San Francisco-based company that aims to bring Siri's versatile personality into a next-gen Barbie doll. Mattel is set to use ToyTalk's voice-recognition tech to release the world's first Wi-Fi enabled Barbie. The company is calling the toy Hello Barbie.
With the release of Hello Barbie, the interconnected net of the Internet of Things gets even larger.