Mattel’s Hello Barbie doesn’t have an official release date – and if activists concerned about child privacy get their way – she never will. Hello Barbie is designed to listen to children – store information in the cloud – make logical connections – and respond in conversation. As a connected toy it’s meant to literally make the Internet of Things child’s play. With the ability to store information and make intelligent decisions – this type of interactive toy may have the ability to stimulate a child’s imagination in new ways. But because it listens to your child intently – remembers everything she says – and suffers from the inherent vulnerability of Web-connectedness – it’s stirring up some privacy controversy.
What a time to be alive. At least until Google Teddy decides that we’re the weak link in the evolutionary chain – and eliminates us for good with cute paws and hacked nuclear launch codes.