There’s a new Barbie in town and everyone already hates her.
“Hello Barbie” is a doll that actually has the ability to talk to your child. Apparently, she’s the first Internet-connected doll that can carry a real conversation with kids and parents are none too happy about it. The conversations are recorded and sent via wifi to a cloud to help with Barbie’s computer-generated responses.
Here’s a little bit from NBC News:
Mattel and ToyTalk promise there will not be any advertising content in what Barbie says and that the recorded conversations will not be used to advertise to children. Both companies stress that parental consent is required to activate the doll’s connectivity and recording capability.
“We are extremely concerned with the privacy, security and safety of the kids’ data,” said Martin Reddy, ToyTalk’s Chief Technical Officer “We don’t share any of those (audio) clips with Mattel and we certainly don’t use any of that content to advertise or market to kids. In fact, we would be breaking the law if we did that, so we won’t do that.”
Yikes. Luckily, my daughter has outgrown her Barbie stage (she is hardcore into My Little Pony and Shopkins right now), but I can see how this doll has parents freaking out. But then again this does take role-playing to a whole new level.