Mattel Unveils Hello Barbie, A Doll That Can Hold A Conversation

barbieBarbie may not be able to code without the help of a few of her closest male friends, but soon she’ll be one of the most technologically advanced toys. Mattel announced this week that it has developed a connected version of the iconic doll that can hold conversations during playtime.

Fast Company reports Hello Barbie, which is expected to be released during the 2015 holiday season, uses ToyTalk’s PullString technology to answer a variety of questions posed by kids.

Officials with ToyTalk say connected Barbie was a product years in the making.

“The most requested thing that kids have wanted to do with Barbie, and Mattel’s done unbelievable amounts of research over the course of decades, is to talk to Barbie,” ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob said. “That’s the number one request over all demographics, over all geographies, of all time. For the first time we’re doing that for real now.”

To use the Hello Barbie, kids will have to engage a hold-to-talk button located on the toy’s belt buckle.

Initial conversations include basic answers to questions about Barbie’s favorite color and things to do at school.

While the reimagined toy currently only comes with a few minutes worth of conversation, ToyTalk’s writers will create additional dialogue based on what they think children might say to the doll.

The speech recognition platform will collect kids’ replies in the cloud so that writers can study and prepare other exchanges based on what they hear from kids.

Both Mattel and ToyTalk anticipate they will develop conversations around a range of topics that kids might be interested in.

“The idea is they’re going into the things that kids aspire to be and the career paths that Barbie represents, from a scientist, mathematician, surfer, painter, writer, all of the things that Barbie has been,” says Jacob. “They’ll talk about feelings, and fashion is always fun. It’s Barbie, so we have to get there. We’ll be taking a look at Barbie and what the girls and boys who play with Barbie want to do, what they want to ask her.”

Using Toytalk Technology, New Hello Barbie Will Have real Conversations With Kids [Fast Company]