When it comes to the Barbie doll, she, or rather it, is something that has become a part of America. Sure, the doll has created a lot of controversy when it comes to being a role model for future women, but in spite of that, Barbie still remains on the shelves of toy stores everywhere. A new version of the doll known as Hello Barbie takes the doll into a modern technological age as children can talk with the doll, and Barbie can talk back. This is the news of Hello Barbie, including the release date and price.
A new version of Barbie known as Hello Barbie is going to be a definite game-changer for the Mattel doll. According to Today, Hello Barbie is a Wi-Fi connected doll that can listen to a child, and then reply based on what it has heard.
In case you are wondering how it works, it uses a system known as ToyTalk to analyze and record the child's voice, and then reply with relevant responses. There is even a memory system in the doll so if Hello Barbie gets a specific response from "what he or she would like to be when he/she grows up", then she will orient her questions in later "conversations".
Yes, children are essentially talking to a doll, something that isn't real and they are not pretending, as they (and everyone around the child) are going to hear a response. Considering that we are living in an age of Siri on an Apple phone or Google Voice Searches on Android, this technology isn't much of a leap forward, honestly.
A reporter from CNET "interviewed" Hello Barbie, and found that a lot of the questions were "answered", and some were not due to the obvious limitations of vocal interface. Of course, Barbie responded back in a perky way that one would expect from her.
There were concerns that this doll could be used as a spying device, as it is connected to Wi-Fi. However, in order for the user to "talk" to Hello Barbie, he or she is required to press a spot on her belt. For those that are concerned about this, Mattel is planning on setting up a number for parents to call with questions, as well as a lengthy FAQ page. They also intend to release all 8,000 lines of Barbie's dialogue online.
This is not the first time that Barbie has been able to speak, though. The last time was back in 1992 with Teen Talk Barbie, and the doll caused some controversy as one of its lines was "Math class is tough". According to the New York Times, the American Association of University women called on Mattel to recall this version of the doll, and Mattel apologized and removed that particular line from the computer chip.
The Hello Barbie will be released in November, just in time for the holiday season. It has the potential to be the Black Friday "toy to have" like Tickle Me Elmo or Cabbage Patch Kids were in Christmases past. Mattel's Hello Barbie will cost about $75.