[caption id="attachment_41817" align="aligncenter" width="700"] The diagrams released by The US Patent and Trademark Office.[/caption]
Google has filed a patent for an unsettling doll capable of watching and listening. The toy is capable of moving and comes with a microphone and camera.
The toy can pay attention to who is in a room and can interact with other media devices.
Diagrams shared by The US Patent and Trademark Office resembled rabbit and bear toys with microphones in their ears, cameras in their eyes, speakers in their mouths and motors in their necks.
Walk into a room and say ‘hello, Teddy’ the stuffed toy in the room turns it’s head to look at you and says, ‘hey buddy. How may i help you?’ ‘Could you turn on the AC and grab me a coke? It’s a bit chilly in here.’ It tilts its furry little head and says, ‘sure’
In movies and television depictions of people talking to their AI-equipped homes to turn on lights or check their email.
Amazon has been selling their Echo, a simple black cylinder Bluetooth speaker/digital home controller hybrid device for a while now and even if it hasn’t broken any sales records it didn’t creep people out either.
But for some reason, people reporting on Google’s anthropomorphic stuffed animal devices find them unsettling.
The reason being is that the target customer for these dolls are kids, and with internet connectivity it will make the dolls vulnerable to hackers, thus exposing the kids to them.
Talking dolls have been around forever, but it is the internet connectivity that is the concern in relation to these dolls.
What makes it easy to target these Smart-toys is the fact that the children can talk to them at anytime, even without their parents being around.
And with toys it is always easier to influence kids.
The question is 'Are we ready to take technology to the next level' and expose the kids to the interne, all on their own?