Barbie has finally found her voice but that doesn’t mean she’s the sweet-talking, innocent doll we’ve been led to believe.
The newest addition to the almost-60-year-old toy line is the “Hello Barbie” which not only speaks to its owner but with the press of a button records a child’s responses, analyses them and replies accordingly.
With the help of voice detection technology in the cloud, Hello Barbie can remember facts about those who have talked to it which might make for an interactive toy experience but it also raises concerns over the doll’s ability to gather information about children and use that for targeted, undercover advertising.
But the creepiness doesn’t stop there.
Parents can also get weekly emails with audio files of their child’s conversations with the toy
Parents can also get weekly emails with audio files of their child’s conversations with the toy; an initiative Oren Jacob, CEO of ToyTalk (the firm behind the voice software), says will ensure “parents are in control of their family’s data at all times.”
Or to put it simply; to spy on your kids as they play with their toys.
Obviously this has outraged many with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, launching a petition to stop the toy’s release which is scheduled for later this year.