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Children have been talking to their toys for decades -- and now, a new Barbie can talk back.
The new "Hello Barbie" is a Wi-Fi-connected doll that listens to your child, replies based on what they’ve said and learns about their interests over time, just like a real friend would.
As seen in a demo video above, kids press down on Hello Barbie's bejeweled belt to talk to her. The doll uses a system called ToyTalk to analyze and record the child’s voice, and reply with relevant responses (parents can access and delete the recordings if they like). Hello Barbie might ask a child what he or she would like to be when he grows up, for example, and reference that in later "conversations."
Hello Barbie is a kid-friendly version of the spate of Internet-connected, voice-activated gadgets that have become popular -- think Siri or the Amazon Echo -- but the child component has some privacy groups worried. Barbie maker Mattel says it won’t use the doll, or the data, for marketing purposes.
Instead, Mattel says they focused on giving kids what they've always asked for: a Barbie they can really talk to.