Google’s smart toy is said to be an internet-connected device which can control home appliances. The search giant filed the patent in 2012 and on Thursday The US Patent and Trademark Office has made public diagrams of the robot toy which comes in the shape of a teddy bear or a bunny.
The smart toy is provided with special movement sensors, speakers, microphones, motors and cameras. All these allow the device to interact with household appliances and even with persons inside the house. The toy can turn its head to the users, listen to them, have human-like reactions and answer with pre-recorded phrases. In addition the toy uses facial recognition and can therefore recognize faces when users look at it.
The multiple sensors enable the teddy bear to feel when you are looking at it. Moreover it can respond by staring back and it can even blink. The device may express reactions such as surprise, boredom and interest. The creator of the toy is Google X’s director of rapid evaluation and mad science, Richard Wayne DeVaul. He explained that the anthropomorphic device could open its eyes, focus its gaze on the user and lift its head in order to express interest.
The patent was described as one of the creepiest patents which the company has ever filed. Privacy groups are worried about the toy’s spying abilities. The device could fit just right in a pile of stuffed toys from where it can track your conversations and watch your movements. The toy is supposed to be child-friendly, but some say that a toy which can turn its head and gaze at children may be to creepy for children to enjoy it.
It is not yet clear whether the patent will ever become a real product. A Google spokeswoman declared:
“We file patent applications on a variety of ideas that our employees come up with. Some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patent applications.”
This device is not something new. Similar technologies were already designed. Such an example is “Hello Barbie” which can interact with children. They can have a conversation with the doll which has the ability to record things which were previously said in the conversation. Another similar device is Amazon’s Echo speaker which has a cylindrical form and is used for the same purpose: to control home appliances.
Image Source: Activist Post