How Talking Toys Boost Kids Interaction Skills?

Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Monday, June 17, 2019

Innovative toys powered by speech reorganization technology allow kids to have a two-way conversation while boosting their interaction abilities.

FREMONT, CA: Today, having a conversation with mobile applications is no longer limited to Apple Siri or Google assistant and is not used only by grown-ups. There is an application available in the market which lets kids chat with one of Mattel's well-known characters, Thomas the Tank Engine. The application is a result of the collaboration between San Francisco-based kids' entertainment startup ToyTalk and Toy Company Mattel. 

The brilliant application developers of ToyTalk put their efforts and resources to enable the children's interaction with virtual cartoon characters via mobile apps. The very first product resealed after the successful collaboration of the two companies experiences massive popularity.  The application not only offers fun and entertainment for the kids but also aims to boost the learning and problem-solving ability of the kids by introducing games like memory puzzles and mystery-solving platforms. ToyTalk's apps use a combination of speech recognition technology, natural language processing with A.I. (Artificial Intelligence), as children's voices are more difficult to interpret than adults. 

Certain consumers have raised concerns about the technology scope and its ability to violate individual privacy by "eavesdropping." A writer for, Sarah Paraz, also reports that ToyTalk faced a petition from a consumer protection agency due to a misunderstanding between voice recognition and "eavesdropping." A group, Coalition for a Commercial-Free Childhood questions toymaker Mattel to pause production on its upcoming doll, Hello Barbie. The group believes that will Hello Barbie is also powered by ToyTalk technology. The company has claimed that its application was not violating privacy laws—in fact, the users can only initiate conversations by using a physical button. ToyTalk has also stated that its applications are completely COPPA-Compliant and Kid SAFE-certified.

The arrival of the iOS applications on Thomas the Tank Engines 70th anniversary enables kids to enjoy two-way conversations with both him and his friends on eight journeys across the "Island of Sodor".