During the five decades since the Barbie Doll by Mattel was launched, the doll created many controversies. Most of them had to deal with the fact that the doll had an unrealistic beauty and body. The latest Barbie doll creates controversy because of the technology that comes with it.
The latest Barbie is called Hello Barbie and she can talk. She doesn’t talk like the dolls did in the past, saying the same ten sentences over and over again. The new model not only talks about what she was programmed to say. She can also listen to your child and respond to questions.
The elaborated technology consists of a microphone, an electronic device and a connection to Wi-Fi. As soon as you press the button attached to her belt you can ask Barbie any questions and even have a conversation.
The technology used in order to make this doll talk back to you is very similar to the ones used by Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Now. The doll will also learn what your kid likes and doesn’t like by asking a set of questions. The information is then sent to be processed and is later stored on Toy Talk’s server.
But parents questioned whether the Hello Barbie is that good of an investment. They doubted the privacy of this toy, considering that kids have a tendency to say a lot of personal things to their toys. The privacy of Toy Talk, Mattel’s partner, is questionable. Their representatives say that the recordings will be used and shared with other people.
That was the downside though. The upside is that parents will be able to listen to their child’s recordings as well and with the help of an app they will even get notified when new recordings are available. You can find out things that your kid will probably never say to you, but Toys Talk will hear him as well.
Another problem is that toy companies don’t have really good security like Apple or Google would and so information could be easily stolen. A very recent example is the hacking that was aimed at the tech-toy maker, V Tech.
Researchers say that there are flaws when it comes to the security of the information stored by the Barbie doll. Because the recordings need to be uploaded on the Internet in order for the doll to respond, hackers could listen to them and find out important information.
As the latest Barbie doll creates controversy, keep in mind that there are still some good models your daughter could receive this Christmas without endangering anyone’s privacy.
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