Barbie Goes Digital 

Six months from now, you will be able to buy a Barbie for the really young ones in your life that will be able to have a conversation with them. We are entering the era of a whole new world of digital toys. I’m not sure many of you are going to like, it but you don’t have much choice. Most toys in the future will be digitally-enabled. 

Mattel plans to introduce Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi enabled version of their iconic doll, right after the summer. Barbie will be using ToyTalk’s technology system “to analyze a child’s speech and produce relevant responses,” according to the company’s press releases.

ToyTalk of San Francisco creates conversational characters for children. Founded in 2011, ToyTalk is known for its animated conversational apps, Winston Show and SpeakaZoo. The apps help young children “engage in complex dialogue with a menagerie of make-believe characters.” 

Read about what the toy industry and early childhood educators think about Mattel’s new Barbie. The New York Times had a great piece on this development.