Gone are the days when girls used to talk to their Barbie Dolls and reply themselves. A new Wi-Fi enabled Barbie called “Hello Barbie” is taking Internet by storm after it was revealed this week by Mattel.
The toy maker Mattel has partnered up with US start-up, ToyTalk to develop Hello Barbie, which will have two-way conversations with children. The doll will use speech recognition developed by ToyTalk. “The number one request we hear from girls around the world is that they want to have a conversation with Barbie. Now, for the first ever, Barbie can have a two-way conversation,” said a spokeswoman for Mattel. Barbie will also be able to play interactive games and tell stories and jokes. The doll requires a Wi-Fi connection and can provide an hour’s worth of playtime when fully charged. A microphone, speaker and two LEDs will be embedded in the doll’s necklace, while rechargeable batteries in its legs can be connected to an external wall mounted charger.
Ms Crookes, director of communications for the British Toy and Hobby Association, said, “Such toys can enhance traditional play. Some of the time, children will play with the toy in internet-connected mode, and some of the time they will play with them in the traditional way, using their imagination.”
When you press a button on her belt buckle, Barbie wakes up, asks a question, and turns on its microphone while the switch is held down. The doll is only at the prototype stage yet, being displayed at the Toy Fair 2015 in New York. It is expected to be ready by Christmas. Barbie has been around for 59 years now, and the high-tech version is being pushed out as fast as Mattel can work. The doll is expected to be priced at US $75. Would you like to gift one to your child?